Two Seren poetry titles up for Forward Prize ‘Best First Collection’ 2011

The Forward Prize shortlist has been announced today, and we here at Seren, are thrilled to see two of our poetry titles on the shortlist for ‘Best First Collection’ 2011.

Both Sound Archive by Nerys Williams and Loudness by Judy Brown find themselves shortlisted along with another four poets.

Sound Archive is a strikingly original first collection of poems. Using formal Sound Archivestrategies similar to modernist painting: abstraction, dislocation, surrealist juxtaposition, the poet conjures a complex music, intriguing narratives, and poems full of atmosphere that query identity, gender, and the dream of art as a vehicle for emotion and meaning.

Nerys Williams is originally from Pen-Y-Bont, Carmarthen in West Wales. A recent winner of the Ted McNulty Poetry Prize, she lectures in American Literature at University College, Dublin.

“Sound Archive is an innovative volume..”– The Irish Times.

Video of Nerys Williams reading from Sound Archive

Judy Brown’s beautiful first collection Loudness, is a straightforward manner Loudness and a gift for ironic humour belie the artful complexities and the exacting observations evident in her work. Loudness will be available to buy at the end of September 2011.

Judy Brown was born in Cheshire and has lived in Northumbria, Cumbria and Hong Kong. She has studied English Literature at Cambridge and Newcastle-upon Tyne and now lives between London (where her ‘day job’ is working part-time as a lawyer) and Derbyshire. She has won the Poetry London and Manchester Festival Poetry prizes and she has placed in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition and others. She is also the author of a prize-winning pamphlet, Pillars of Salt.

The Forward Prize for Best First Collection shortlist:

Rachael Boast Sidereal
Judy Brown Loudness
Nancy Gaffield Tokaido Road
Ahren Warner Confer
John Whale Waterloo Teeth
Nerys Williams Sound Archive

The Forward Prize Best Collection shortlist:

John Burnside  Black Cat Bone
David Harsent Night
Geoffrey Hill Clavics
Michael Longley A Hundred Doors 
D Nurkse Voices Over Water  
Sean O’Brien November 

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in memory of Michael Donaghy shortlist:

R. F. Langley To a Nightingale
Alan Jenkins Southern Rail (The Four Students) 
Sharon Olds Song the Breasts Sing to the Late-in-Life Boyfriend
Jo Shapcott Bees

Berg by Hilary Menos (Seren 2010) was winner of ‘Best First Collection’ 2010.


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