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Claudia Rankine wins the Forward Prize for Best Collection | 29-Sep-15

This winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2015 are as follows:

The Forward Prize for Best Collection (£10,000) 

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin Books)

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (£5,000)

Mona Arshi, Small Hands, (Liverpool University Press)

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (£1,000) 

Claire Harman, "The Mighty Hudson" (TLS)


Claudia Rankine has won the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection for her lyric essay Citizen: An American Lyric which explores the culture and cycle of racism in the USA. The book was described by the judges as a "powerful book for our time". 

AL Kennedy, chair of the five-strong jury, said: "This is writing we can recommend with real urgency and joy. It's a stylistically daring poetic project about the dehumanization of those deemed outsiders - we found it exhilarating and genuinely transformative."

"Citizen is a brave book, with many dimensions: it takes risks, gives courage and provokes profound self-questioning. We read it as a celebration of the power of language, not simply as a call to arms but a call to speak out and to share. Several of us have, individually, pressed this book on others with real fervour. It will, we know, raise questions about the nature, purpose and importance of poetry."

Citizen: An American Lyric is published as poetry and has also been described as a "lyric essay", a creative non-fiction genre combining the essay form with poetic technique, using juxtaposition instead of argument or narrative. The book features extracts from documentary film scripts, an essay on Venus Williams, screen grabs of Zinedine Zidane's 2006 World Cup head-butt, President Obama's oath of office, JMW Turner's painting 'The Slave Ship' and witness testimony to acts of everyday racism.

Read more about the Forward Prizes on their website




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