Friday, 12 December 2014

The Forward Book of Poetry 1995

The Forward Book of Poetry 1995
London, Forward, 1995

I love the idea of an impromptu poetry reading from Carol Ann Duffy, Jean Binta Breeze and William Sieghart. Apparently, this is what happened during the meeting of the judging panel for the 1995 Forward Prizes. 

As Cressida Connely notes in her foreword, this collection consists of such an incredible variety of poetry, though much of it is rather longer than my usual preference. There are poems about music, from Marvin Gaye to Joe Meek; poems about love and family and loss; and even poems about poems. 

Peter Sansom's 'Today We Are Shooting Poets' is a funny, clever piece of writing, in contrast to Ann Sansom's celebration of variety in voices. 

There are also brilliantly strong women in this collection, possibly a reflection of Carol Ann Duffy's presence on the selection panel. Helen Dunmore's 'Three Ways of Recovering a Body' is simultaneously tragic and uplifting, but packs a punch alongside the words of Jackie Kay and Louise Hudson. 

And there are poems in here I want to read again and again, and that I think might lead me to writing my own response; particularly Peter Didsbury's 'A Malediction', which just oozes inspiration in it's structure, form and subject. Time to get writing, I guess...

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