Belfast poet Padraig Regan and Tyrone poet Nick Laird have been shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2022.
Regan’s Some Integrity (Carcanet) was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. Also in the running are Mohammed El – Kurd with Rifqa (Haymarket Books), Holly Hopkins with The English Summer (Penned in the Margins), Warsan Shire with Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head (Chatto & Windus) and Stephanie Sy-Quia with Amnion (Granta Poetry). The winner will receive a prize of £5,000.
Regan is the author of two poetry pamphlets: Delicious (Lifeboat) and Who Seemed Alive and Altogether Real (Emma Press). In 2015, they won an Eric Gregory Award, and in 2020 they won the Chair of Poetry Bursary Prize.
They hold a PhD on creative-critical and hybridised writing practices in medieval texts and the work of Anne Carson from the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, where they were a Ciaran Carson Writing and the City Fellow in 2021. Some Integrity won the 2021 Clarissa Luard Prize, awarded by the David Cohen Foundation.
Laird was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2022 for his poem, ‘Up Late’ (Granta). He’s up against Louisa Campbell for ‘Dog on a British Airways Airbus 319-200’ (Perverse), Cecelia Knapp for ‘I’m Shouting I LOVED YOUR DAD at my Brother’s Cat’ (Perverse), Carl Phillips for ‘Scattered Snows, to the North’ (PN Review), and Clare Pollard for ‘Pollen’ (Bad Lillies). The winner will receive a prize of £1,000.
Laird’s most recent books are the poetry collection Feel Free (Faber & Faber) and the novel Modern Gods (4thEstate). His awards include the Betty Trask Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Feel Free was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Derek Walcott award. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he’s on faculty at New York University, and is the Seamus Heaney Professor of Poetry at Queens’ University, Belfast.
The shortlisted poets for Best Collection 2022 are Kaveh Akbar for Pilgrim Bell (Chatto & Windus), Anthony Joseph for Sonnets for Albert (Bloomsbury Poetry), Shane McCrae for Cain Named the Animal (Little Brown), Kim Moore for All the Men I Never Married (Seren Books), and Helen Mort for The Illustrated Woman (Chatto & Windus). The winner will receive a prize of £10,000.
The winners will be announced in the autumn. The judges for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2022 are novelist and activist Fatima Bhutto, Chair of Judges, and poets Rishi Dastidar, Alice Hiller, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Stephen Sexton.
Over the last three decades, the awards have lauded some of the most recognised names in poetry including Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Claudia Rankine.