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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Activist on list for poetry prize
Jack Mapanje (photo: Bon Chandiyamba)
Mapanje's first poetry book was banned in Malawi, his home nation
A former political prisoner and human rights activist from Malawi has been nominated for the Forward Prize, which promotes contemporary poetry.

Jack Mapanje was detained for three years until his release in 1991, and his most recent work, Beast of Nalunga, is shortlisted for best collection.

Also in the running for the 10,000 award is Luke Kennard, 26, the youngest nominee in the history of the prize.

Eavan Boland, Sean O'Brien, Adam Thorpe and John Burnside complete the list.

Irish poet Boland, who was also up for the Forward Prize 13 years ago, is recognised for Domestic Violence.

Burnside is a former computer engineer now based in Fife, and Gift Songs is his third nomination in seven years.

The Drowned Book is O'Brien's shortlisted work - he is the only poet to have won the Forward Prize twice - while French-born Thorpe is included for Birds with a Broken Wing.

And it is Kennard's second collection, The Harbour Beyond the Movie, which earns him a nomination.

Debut works

There are two other Forward Prizes, with the winners announced in London on 3 October.

Joanna Boulter, Melanie Challenger, Daljit Nagra and Eleanor Rees are shortlisted for the best first collection, which has a prize of 5,000.

And there are six nominees for the 1,000 award for best single poem.

David Harsent is included for The Hut in Question, as is Lorraine Mariner's Thursday.

Dunt by Alice Oswald and The Day I Knew I Wouldn't Live Forever by Carole Satyamurti are also featured.

And completing the list are Myra Schneider with Goulash, and Jean Sprackland's The Birkdale Nightingale.


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