Entertainment & Arts

Forward poetry prize shortlist announced

Sean O'Brien
Image caption O'Brien previously won the Forward Prize in 1995, 2001 and 2007

Britain's Sean O'Brien is among those shortlisted for this year's Forward Prize for Poetry, an award he has won on three previous occasions.

His work November will compete in the best collection category, as will Night by David Harsent - another previous recipient of the £10,000 prize.

John Burnside, Geoffrey Hill, Michael Longley and D Nurkse are also cited.

This year's winner will be announced at Somerset House, London on 5 October, on the eve of National Poetry Day.

Other awards to be presented that night include a £5,000 prize for best first collection, and a £1,000 prize for best single poem.

O'Brien took home his first Forward prize in 1995, going on to win it again in 2001 and in 2007.

In 2006 his Fantasia on a Theme of James Wright was awarded the best single poem prize.

His other work includes his book of essays The Deregulated Muse and his verse plays The Birds and Keepers of the Flame.

Sir Andrew Motion, chair of the judging panel, said this year's list contained some "confirming and liberating" material.

The former Poet Laureate is joined by author Lady Antonia Fraser, journalist Sameer Rahim and the poets Fiona Sampson and Leonie Rushforth.

"We're pleased that contemporary poetry is as strong today as when we began," said William Sieghart, whose Forward Arts Foundation founded the awards in 1992.

Irish poet Seamus Heaney received last year's prize for his Human Chain collection of poems.

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