Review: The Forward Book of Poetry 2017

Welcome to this new innitiative of mine named Talking Points, which will consist of loose reviews and a general thoughts to which various entertainment wil lead me. Expect a mixture of contemporary and old stuff.

This week (I’ll try and make this blog post type weekly) I gave some contemporary poetry a go. Forward is a prestigious poetry award give to best poems and best poetry collections. This book consisted of  the shortlisted poems for 3 different prizes and a bunch of highly acclaimed ones.

For £8.99 at Waterstone’s, I thought it wasn’t a bad deal. I was happy to see that the poetry section in the store had expanded, knowing that the things I write may reach someone one day. I get annoyed that the biggest market in the UK is for novels, which are often just as good as prime time television nowdays- so pretty unimaginative. Just re-washed versions of one another.

The book itself has a massive forward (hehe) which I wasn’t bothered to read. The amount of space it takes up is slightly upsetting. I prefer to absorb the writing and interpet it through my own filter, rather than getting a pre-paid imagination plan like that.

As for the poetry? Top quality, as you can expect, although I felt like if I had sent some of the shortlisted poems off I would not have been considered due to my lack of memorable surname. I would’ve  been told by my tutors that i try too hard to be poetic, Maybe it’s true, or maybe it’s my bitterness and I can’t understand the subtelty of breaking rules. Like any other career genre, poetry has it’s insiders, and only promotes people with certain agendas, I’ve realised.

The good poems; however, are extreamly good. It was nice to see some of my native language printed in there, as a quote within Cathal McCabe’s poem Snow. I found Altar Call and The Murderer’s Dog particularily moving.

All in all, it’s a good buy. Especially if you want to know waht the hell is going on in poetry right now, or if you’re new to it and want to find what you like. I’m sure mosts tastes will be satisfied at least once in this collection.

I highly reccomend it.


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