The Forward Prize for Best Collection
City of Departures by Helen Tookey (Carcanet)
Born in Leicester, Helen Tookey teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. City of Departures is her second poetry collection, following on from Missel-Child (Carcanet, 2014) which was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney first collection prize. It is described as an urban patchwork of glimpsed moments and chance affiliations through which Tookey explores how we create meaning in such fleeting encounters and spaces.
Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky (Faber & Faber)
Ilya Kaminsky, who appears here at Southbank Centre in June as part of Out-Spoken, is a hard-of-hearing Russian-Jewish-American poet, critic, translator and professor. His second collection Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), earned him a 2005 Whiting Award and was named 2004 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year in Poetry. Deaf Republic – simultaneously a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea – confronts our time’s vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.
The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here by Vidyan Ravinthiran (Bloodaxe Books)
University lecturer and editor at Prac Crit, Vidyan Ravinthiran was previously shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, as well as several other prizes, for Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe Books, 2014). The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here, Ravinthiran’s second collection, is a book of sonnets for his wife that also consider the world around them and their love.
Noctuary by Niall Campbell (Bloodaxe Books)
Noctuary is the second collection from Niall Campbell, following on from Moontide (Bloodaxe Books, 2014) for which he won the morgan Poetry Prize and Saltire First Book of the Year award. A diary for the late hours Noctuary offers a time for reflection on what it means to be a young father, and reconnection with the now city-dwelling Campbell’s own childhood in the Outer Hebrides.
Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson (Cape)
Fiona Benson achieved much acclaim for her first poetry collection Bright Travellers (Cape, 2014), which won a Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and was also shortlisted for he TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Vertigo & Ghost, Benson’s second collection, delivers poems of violence and motherhood, told through a brutal and compelling evocation of Zeus.