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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 October, 2003, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Belfast poet wins top award
Ciaran Carson
Ciaran Carson won the prize with his ninth collection, Breaking News
Belfast poet Ciaran Carson has won the 10,000 Forward Prize, the UK's biggest annual poetry award.

He took the prize for best collection for Breaking News, which includes despatches from a war correspondent.

The award for best first collection prize went to Fire Stations by Glasgow-based AB Jackson.

Judging panel chairman Sir Peter Stothard said Carson and Jackson wrote "taut, truthful poems" that "would long outlive their topicality".

Best collection - Ciaran Carson
Best first collection -
AB Jackson
Best single poem -
Robert Minhinnick
An award also went to Robert Minhinnick, whose The Fox in the Museum of Wales was named best single poem.

More than 100 collections and 100 single poems were considered by the judging panel.

Panellists included poet Connie Bensley, TV presenter Daisy Goodwin, former nominee Vona Groarke and singer songwriter Beth Orton.

Breaking News is Ciaran Carson's ninth collection. He also completed an acclaimed translation of The Inferno of Dante Alighieri.

AB Jackson
AB Jackson's Fire Stations was named best first collection
A statement from the panel said: "The mosaic qualities of these deceptively spare poems incorporate silences, interruptions and fractures in communication."

It added that Carson's poems "record the force of terror and beauty with surgical precision and lapidary skill".

The 55-year-old beat nominees including US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Ian Duhig, Lavinia Greenlaw and Paul Muldoon.

Winners were announced at a London ceremony on Wednesday, the eve of National Poetry Day.



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