Fiona Benson’s astonishing poems, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize are searing in their intensity. Tearing through Greek mythology, power, violence, and feminism, her work is at times gruesome, unsparing and almost unbearably moving.
Andrew McMillan’s explorations of contemporary masculinity, gay experience, and male bodies in Physical and Playtime have made an indelible impression on UK poetry. His new collection Pandemonium is a powerful illustration of the ways in which poetry can narrate and illuminate the most difficult of experiences with humanity and grace. Two truly unique voices in poetry - not to be missed.
The Forwards are the UK and Ireland's foremost poetry prizes, celebrating the very best of contemporary poetry published in the British Isles. A week ahead of the much-anticipated announcement of this year's winners, we hear from poets on the 2021 shortlist: Kayo Chingonyi (Best Collection), Cynthia Miller (Best First Collection) and Fiona Benson (Best Single Poem). Alongside chair Michael Pedersen, the poets will discuss their work, the impact of literary prizes, and the status of British poetry today.