Benson’s ‘Vertigo & Ghost’ wins Forward Poetry Prize
Fiona Benson’s poetry collection Vertigo & Ghost (Cape Poetry) has won the £10,000 (A$18,846) Forward Prize for best poetry collection, reports the Guardian.
Vertigo & Ghost explores vulnerability and rage, and recasts the god Zeus as ‘a serial rapist, for whom woman are prey and sex is weaponised’. Chair of judges Shahidha Bari called it ‘a work of unfaltering determination and self-inspection. It is an exhilarating collection that pulses with fury, fear and defiance—and enduring hope too.’
The £5000 (A$9420) Felix Dennis Prize for best first collection was awarded to Stephen Sexton for If All the World and Love Were Young (Penguin), which explores how video games shaped his experience of grief over his mother’s death, and Parwana Fayyaz won the £1000 (A$1880) Forward Prize for best single poem for ‘Forty Names’ (PN Review), which concerns 40 women who jump off a cliff in order to preserve their ‘honour’.
The Forward Prize was launched in 1991 and aims to ‘celebrate excellence in poetry and widen its audience’. It is open to poets who have had their work published in print in the UK and Ireland in the previous year. Read more about the prize here.