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2013 Forward Prize Bundle for £20 - All signed by authors

ISBN: ForwardBundle2013

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Three collections all shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for 'Best First Collection' for only £20 (RRP £25.93) - the perfect way to discover the best new poetry of the year.

The bundle includes signed copies of:

War Reporter by Dan O'Brien

War reporter Paul Watson won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1993 photograph of a dead American being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu; he has since reported from the Balkans, Rwanda, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. These poems emerge from his correspondence with the poet Dan O’Brien, and their eventual meeting on the shore of the Arctic Ocean.

“Dan O’Brien goes to the root of troubling mysteries with a clear eye and a heart that is never less than full. I commend this work for its great originality, courage and humanity.”
Fergal Keane, BBC Foreign Correspondent

“The subject of this book is war and the pity of war – distilled into very powerful poems... A distinguished achievement.”
Andrew Motion

War Reporter is an edgy, heartbreaking amalgam of memoir, dramatic monologue and poetic intensity...”
Alan Shapiro

“The book is superb, subtle, memorable, and of a piece. It sings and cries. It consoles. It is a gift to readers of poetry.”
Jay Parini

Dan O’Brien is an American playwright and poet. His play The Body of an American premiered in 2012. His poems have been widely published in magazines in both the UK and the US, including Poetry Review. He lives in Los Angeles.


Oswald's Book of Hours by Steve Ely

Oswald, King of Northumbria from 635 to 642 AD, was a warrior, evangelist, hunter, scholar, martyr and, most famously of all, main rival to George’s claim to be patron saint of England. Oswald’s Book of Hours is a series of elegies and eulogies for Oswald, written in the voices of an unlikely band of northern radicals, including union leader Arthur Scargill, hermit Richard Rolle, brigand John Nevison, Catholic rebel Robert Aske – and Oswald himself.

Brutal, provocative and thrillingly original, Oswald’s Book of Hours is a pocket history of northern subversion and exile, going back before the Industrial Revolution, before the Reformation, before England even existed.

Steve Ely lives in the West Riding of Yorkshire. A former Sunday League footballer and secondary school headteacher, his other works include the novel Ratmen, published by Blackheath Books in June 2012. A selection of poems from Oswald’s Book of Hours will appear in a forthcoming Five Leaves anthology of Yorkshire poetry.


She Inserts the Key by Marianne Burton

This is a startlingly good debut by Marianne Burton. Often dark, but with a sharply concise and compelling style, these poems draw you in with a ‘look at this!’ urgency. This is a collection of voices: dodos and wallpaper chant obsessively, a cheese weeps for the calf whose milk it stole, a woman turned into soap dreams of her apotheosis as she washes into the sea. Uneasy yet fruitful juxtapositions abound: poems of war are set against poems of the natural world, a glimpse of a sparrowhawk is offset by a wider vision of the ‘River flowing under the Bank of England’. The series ‘Meditations on the Hours’, that highlights the domestic and the personal, is at the core of this group of lyrical poems. The poet’s language is both keen and voluptuous, contemplative and passionate. 

"Marianne Burton’s poems combine grace with intelligence, toughness with delicacy, and thoughtfulness with sensuality."
Andrew Motion

"Her debut collection introduces her measured and nettling style to the British poetry scene."
Roddy Lumsden

"Formally adept and inventive, linguistically charged and scrupulous, emotionally truthful and intelligent, Marianne Burton’s stylish poems demand and reward re-reading."
Michael Laskey

Marianne Burton’s poems appear in the likes of the TLS, The Rialto, The North, Poetry London and Poetry Wales. Her pamphlet The Devils’ Cut was a Poetry Book Society Choice in 2007. In 2010 she was tutored at Ty Newydd by Gillian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy, who encouraged her to put together her first collection. She lives in London and the Welland Valley.



The Forward Prizes for Poetry 2013 will be awarded on 1st October at the Southbank Centre by the novelist Jeanette Winterson. She chairs a panel of judges comprising the actor/director Samuel West, the journalist David Mills and the poets Paul Farley and Sheenagh Pugh. Previous winners include Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Alice Oswald, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie.

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