New prize for poetry’s ‘difficult second album’ – The Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize

Ledbury Poetry Festival shines a light on second poetry collections with new £5000 prize:
The Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize
The Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize will be judged by 2016 Forward Prize winner Vahni Capildeo and poet Tara Bergin and the winner receive a cash prize of £5000.

The biennial Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize is a response to poetry’s increasing emphasis on debuts and will highlight poets’ more accomplished, though often overlooked second collections. Without the exposure needed to sell copies, low sales can impact directly on poets’ publishing prospects for the future.

Chloe Garner, Ledbury Poetry Festival Director saw a need to put this right. “Poets at second collection stage genuinely need recognition and encouragement” says Garner, “I am sure that audiences will appreciate the opportunity to discover excellent books that might not yet have received the attention they deserve.”

The Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize is being met with a warm welcome from poetry publishers. Neil Astley of Bloodaxe Books, has seen the challenges faced by poets at this stage in their careers. “If the poet is someone who has a job or other commitments, and hasn’t been able to assist much in promotion of their work, or do many readings” says Astley “an excellent second collection may well be completely overlooked; and the discouragement that brings may affect where the poet goes from there.”

Tom Chivers, Editor at poetry publisher Penned in the Margins agrees. He says ” I welcome a new prize for second collections, to shine a spotlight on work that might otherwise fall down the gap between the excitement of the new and the confidence of the established.”

Eligible for entry are book-length second collections by poets from Britain and Ireland who have previously published book-length first collections.

The shortlist for the Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize will be announced on Monday 12 June 2017. The winner will be announced at Ledbury Poetry Festival which runs from 30 June – 9 July 2017.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 31st March 2017. Full submission details for the Prize are on the Ledbury Poetry Festival website

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