Luke Kennard wins Forward poetry prize for ‘anarchic’ response to Shakespeare

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Luke Kennard has won the Forward prize for champion postulation for his “anarchic” effect to Shakespeare’s sonnets, a enactment which judges are predicting could “transform” students’ narration with the Bard.

Kennard’s Notes connected the Sonnets, published by tiny property Penned successful the Margins, took the prestigious £10,000 grant successful London connected Sunday evening, beating shortlisted poets including Kayo Chingonyi and Tishani Doshi. Notes connected the Sonnets is simply a postulation of prose poems responding to Shakespeare’s, acceptable astatine an awkward location party, with a enactment from a sonnet introducing each poem. Judges praised the mode it captures “uncomfortable elements of quality enactment and the changing quality of love”.

“It is an invitation to nexus contemporaneity with the precise rigid mode galore students are forced to survey Shakespeare,” said justice and writer Shivanee Ramlochan. “This publication could alteration that narration successful a profound, comic and moving way.”

Kennard said helium wrote the opening piece, Sonnet 66, astatine a party, and “then I got hooked connected penning reactions to each 154, mostly conscionable speechmaking the archetypal a fewer times and getting immoderate thoughts down.

“Then it turned into this strange, dreamlike communicative acceptable astatine the aforesaid location party,” said the poet, who was antecedently shortlisted for the Forwards successful 2007. “Sonnet 6 is astir apt 1 of my favourites for however it responds to the original: ‘Ten times thyself were happier than thou art, / If 10 of thine 10 times refigured thee.’”

Sunday night’s ceremonial besides saw Caleb Femi triumph the £5,000 prize for champion archetypal postulation for Poor, an exploration of beingness connected a Peckham property which besides features photographs taken by the poet, and a poem dedicated to the murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor, whom Femi knew. The 31-year-old writer has said that helium acceptable retired to “articulate the lives and times of my assemblage of northbound Peckham and research however architecture and societal policies power the lives of galore working-class communities similar my own”.

Judge and writer Pascale Petit said Femi’s debut was “an astonishing and groundbreaking postulation that grabbed maine from the archetypal leafage and dazzled maine with its virtuosity”.

The £1,000 Forward prize for champion azygous poem went to Nicole Sealey’s Pages 22-29, an excerpt from The Ferguson Report: An Erasure. Sealey, who flew successful from the US for the ceremony, uses what judges called the “stifling obfuscations” of the study into the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by members of the Ferguson constabulary unit successful Missouri to make “new moments of lyrical quality and contemplation”, and radiance “a airy connected each that the study tries to hide”.

Ramlochan called it “a poem of resonant taste and societal value” which “lifts connection disconnected the leafage and truthful successfully shows determination are poems virtually embedded successful each sorts of documents – reports, archives, ledgers – each astir us”.

James Naughtie, who chaired this year’s jury, said the winning works showed “that the poetic imaginativeness isn’t wholly introspective, though it cuts heavy … It’s bold, limitless successful ambition and it touches each portion of our lives - our ain hopes and fears, our communities, and the wider satellite that truthful often seems bewildering and overpowering. These poets find pathways into the deepest feelings and observe vantage points that instrumentality a scholar (or a listener) to different place. In their hands we look astatine the satellite differently. This is simply a infinitesimal for poetry; and each these poets deliver.”