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Bird’s ‘The Air Year’ wins Forward Poetry Prize

In the UK, Caroline Bird’s poetry collection The Air Year (Carcanet) has won the £10,000 (A$18,320) Forward Prize for best poetry collection, reports the Bookseller.

Judging panel chair Alexandra Harris described Bird’s poems as ‘trapeze ropes made with words, swinging us up and out into the unknown, from dazzle into darkness and back again’. ‘With hurtling fluency and ethereal weightlessness, they give chase to mysteries of love and hurt,’ said Harris. ‘Turning, tumbling, vaulting, The Air Year performs a surrealist aerial dance. Every time you look, its shape has shifted, its extravagance, puzzlement and passion are startlingly reconfigured.’

The £5000 (A$9160) Felix Dennis Prize for best first collection was awarded to Will Harris for Rendang (Granta), which tackles the author’s mixed-race heritage, ‘considering family, borders, transcience and the need for a voice capacious enough to be both me and not-me’. Malika Booker won the £1000 (A$1830) Forward Prize for best single poem for ‘The Little Miracles’ (Magma), which is a ‘tender’ account of Booker caring for her mother in the aftermath of a stroke.

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.


Category: International news