Celebrating the year’s best new poetry, The Forward Prizes are amongst the leading awards for poetry in the UK and Ireland. Awarded across three categories – the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – they recognise the work of new and aspiring poets alongside well-established names. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the Prizes (the first awarded in 1992), and over the last three decades have lauded some of the most recognised names in poetry including Simon Armitage, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy, Claudia Rankine, Jackie Kay and Caleb Femi.
Anthony Joseph’s work Sonnets for Albert has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection.
In Sonnets for Albert, Anthony Joseph returns to the autobiographical material explored in his earlier collection Bird Head Son. In this follow-up, he weighs the impact of being the son of an absent, or mostly absent, father. Though these poems threaten to break under the weight of their emotions, they are always masterfully poised as the stylish man they depict.
Anthony worked on the concept and poems for Sonnets for Albert during his Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship supported year in 2019/20. As part of this we commissioned a live performance of some of the sonnets in collaboration with Jason Yarde on saxophone and Rod Youngs on drums, watch here.
Also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection is: Pilgrim Bell by Kaveh Akbar, Cain Named The Animal by Shane McCrae, All The Men I Never Married by Kim Moore and The Illustrated Woman by Helen Mort.
This year’s Forward judges are novelist and activist Fatima Bhutto, chair, and poets Rishi Dastidar, Alice Hiller, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Stephen Sexton.
You can read more about Anthony Joseph, purchase Sonnets for Albert and other works here
You can read more about The Forward Prize here
More about Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships here