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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 01:17 GMT 02:17 UK
US laureate leads Forward list
Billy Collins
Billy Collins: Hugely popular with American readers
US Poet Laureate Billy Collins leads the nominees for the UK's richest annual poetry award, the Forward Prize.

Collins joins Ciaran Carson, Ian Duhig, Lavinia Greenlaw and Paul Muldoon on the shortlist for the 10,000 prize for the best published poetry collection.

The winner will be announced on 8 October - the eve of National Poetry Day.

Times Literary Supplement editor Peter Stodhard chairs this year's judging panel, which includes poet Connie Bensley, TV presenter Daisy Goodwin, former Forward nominee Vona Groarke, and singer Beth Orton.

As well as the prize for best collection, there are other awards for a best first collection and best single poem.

Forward Arts Foundation chairman William Siegart said: "With so many excellent collections published this year, I did not envy this year's judging panel in arriving at these shortlists.


"It's encouraging to see such varied poets, and exciting to see who the emerging talents are in the best first collection and single poem categories."

Collins, who comes to the end of a two-year-term as US laureate this year, is shortlisted for Nine Horses, the follow-up to his hugely successful Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes.

Belfast-born Peter Carson is nominated for his collection Breaking News.

Lavinia Greenlaw is nominated for her third collection, Minsk, while Leeds-based writer Ian Duhig is up for The Lammas Hireling - the title poem of which won the best single poem prize last year.

Oxford professor of poetry Paul Muldoon is a contender for the award thanks to his latest collection, Moy, Sand and Gravel.

Rhian Gallagher, AB Jackson, John McAuliffe, Jane Routh and Sarah Wardle are up for the 5,000 best first collection prize, while the 1,000 for best single poem will go to one of Judi Benson, David Constantine, Jean Harrison, Robert Minhinnick or Alison Prince.

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