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Two Caribbean Writers Make 2016 Forward Prize Shortlists

Vahni Capildeo and Tiphanie Yanique make 2016 Forward Prize Shortlists

Two Caribbean writers have made their way to 2016 shortlists for the Forward Prize. Trinidad and Tobago’s Vahni Capildeo joins the list of five writers shortlisted for the Best Collection prize with Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet) while Virgin Islander Tiphanie Yanique is among the poets vying for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection with Wife (Peepal Tree Press).

Capildeo is joined on the Best Collection shortlist by Ian Duhig’s The Blind Roadmaker (Picador Poetry), Choman Hardi’s Considering the Women (Bloodaxe Books), Alice Oswald’s Falling Awake (Cape Poetry) and Denise Riley’s Say Something Back (Picador Poetry).

Wife, which copped the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for poetry is vying for Best First Collection along with Nancy Campbell’s Disko Bay (Enitharmon Press), Ron Carey’s Distance (Revival Press), Harry Giles’ Tonguit (Freight Books) and Ruby Robinson’s Every Little Sound (Liverpool University). 

The Forward Prize, the most respected prize for poetry in the UK is currently celebrating its 25th year, with a resulting increase in the purse for Best Collection to £15,000, with each shortlisted writer receiving £1,000. The winner of the Best First Collection will receive £5,000 while the winner of the Best Single Poem Prize will receive £1,000.

The 2016 judging panel is chaired by writer and multidisciplinary artist Malika Booker and comprises poets George Szirtes and Liz Berry as well as singer/songwriter Tracey Thorn and editor of Poetry Magazine Don Share.

Previous winners of the Best Collection prize includes Claudine Rankine, Kei Miller, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy. 

This year’s prizes will be awarded at the Royal Festival Hall, September 20, 2016.