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  1. Culture
6 October 2011

Poetic justice

John Burnside, shortlisted three times before, finally wins the Forward Prize

By Sophie Elmhirst

Last night, the Forward Prize – in its 20th year – awarded the prize for best collection to John Burnside, for his collection Black Cat Bone. In his acceptance speech, Burnside – who has been shortlisted three times for the prize in previous years – said he was “wordless”, a rare event.

Burnside’s fellow winners were Rachel Boast, who won the prize for first collection for Sidereal, and R F Langley who won the prize for the best single poem, for “To A Nightingale”. Langley died earlier this year, and the prize was accepted by his widow.

Burnside has contributed regularly to the New Statesman in recent years, including a piece on Margaret Thatcher’s legacy in Corby and an exclusive series of poems, called An Essay on Narrative.

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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