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Shivanee Ramlochan makes Felix Dennis Prize shortlist

The judges of the 2018 Forward Prizes for Poetry have shortlisted debut Caribbean poet Shivanee Ramlochan for her collection, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting (Peepal Tree Press) for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. This is the third nomination for a Peepal Tree author in so many weeks, as Leone Ross was nominated for both the Jhalak Prize and Saboteur Award. If Shivanee wins, she will pick up a sweet £5,000 in prize money.

Peepal Tree is no stranger to award success, with wins including the Clarissa Luard Award, the Forward Prize and the Casa de la Américas Literary Award.

This year’s judging panel for the Forward Prizes is chaired by writer, critic, broadcaster and film-maker Bidisha. It includes poets Mimi Khalvati, Chris McCabe, Niall Campbell, and vlogger, poet and author Jen Campbel.

Speaking of the nomination, Ramlochan says, 'I'm honoured, humbled and quietly astonished to be on the Forward Prizes' 2018 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection shortlist. To have my work read closely, carefully and with great feeling is an utter joy. I'm especially delighted to be shortlisted in the same year as some of my poetry favourites, especially the inimitable Vahni Capildeo, my fellow countryperson, whose work both mystifies and electrifies my sensibilities.

Fellow nominees include: Kaveh Akbar, Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Penguin); Phoebe Power, Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet); Abigail Parry, Jinx (Bloodaxe); and Richard Scott, Soho (Faber). The prize will be announced at a special event in London at the Southbank.

Vahni Capildeo is also on the shortlist, with her collection Venus As a Bear (Carcanet) nominated for Best Collection.

Over the coming weeks, the Forward Arts Foundation website will feature exclusive interviews and extracts. The Prize will be promoting poetry more widely with its #PoetryThursdays hashtag, and will be spotlighting one shortlisted writer per week.

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