Two Penned in the Margins titles on inaugural Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize

Blog | Published on June 13, 2017

We are delighted to announce two Penned in the Margins books have been shortlisted for the inaugural Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize, the UK’s only prize for second collections

John McCullough’s Spacecraft and Emma Hammond’s The Story of No have been named as part of a six-strong list of contenders for the £5000 award. The new biennial prize is a response to poetry’s increasing emphasis on debuts and seeks to shine a light on poets’ more accomplished, though often overlooked second books. The 2017 Prize is judged by Vahni Capildeo and Tara Bergin, and the winner will be announced at this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, on Friday 30 June, 4.30pm. This prize has been launched to mark the 21st anniversary of the festival, where Penned in the Margins will also produce five shows as part of Fair Field.


You can read author blogs about the writing of their collections on our website: Emma Hammond’s on difficult subjects & John McCullough’s on Crafting Space.


The Ledbury Forte Poetry Prize shortlist is entirely made up of collections published by independent publishing houses, including small presses. Chloe Garner, Artistic Director of Ledbury Poetry Festival notes that ‘this perhaps reflects the particular commitment of independent publishers to nurturing poets beyond their debuts and to supporting poets who take risks with their work, pushing their themes, style and language into new and exciting territories’. Garner adds, ‘fundamentally this prize is about bringing poets to readers and the range and quality of this shortlist means each book is a dazzling read.’


The full shortlist:

Judy Brown -­ Crowd Sensations (Seren)
John Clegg -­ Holy Toledo! (Carcanet)
Emma Hammond -­ The Story of No (Penned in the Margins)
John McCullough -­ Spacecraft (Penned in the Margins)
Sandeep Parmar -­ Eidolon (Shearsman Books)
Sam Riviere -­ Kim Kardashian’s Marriage (Faber & Faber)

Spacecraft by John McCullough and The Story of No by Emma Hammond are available to buy on our online shop

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