I’m very happy to say that Emily Blewitt‘s prose poem This Is Not a Rescue, first published at And Other Poems (the poetry site I edit), has been Highly Commended in the Forward Prizes for Poetry and will be published this autumn in The Forward Book of Poetry 2017. Huge congratulations to Emily whose debut collection will be published by Seren next year.
This is the first time in the Forward Prizes‘ 25 year history that nominations from online magazines were accepted for the Best Single Poem category. When you think of the huge number of online poetry places there are (hundreds? thousands? millions?) it was brave of the judges to open votes to the digital poetry world and it’s no wonder that entries were limited to the first twenty online sites which submitted.
Admittedly, it was something of a scramble to choose two poems and submit them on time. The majority of poems sent to And Other Poems are previously published (in print) – and therefore not eligible to be nominated by And Other Poems – but, increasingly, new unpublished poems are being submitted. With little time and not a massive selection to choose from, Emily’s poem leapt out as a strong contender and I’m delighted that the judges agreed.
I’m looking forward to finding out how the other online poetry sites have fared. I have no doubt they will be the source of other Highly Commended poems and I was pleased to see that one of the five poems shortlisted for Best Single Poem, Melissa Lee-Houghton’s i am very precious was originally published at an online site, Prac Crit.
You can find more information about the Forward Prizes, read poems from this year’s shortlists, and find information about buying tickets for the awards ceremony and the anthology at the Forward Arts Foundation website.