Page last updated at 23:06 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 00:06 UK

Poetry prize shortlist revealed

Jamie McKendrick. Photograph: Norman McBeath
Jamie McKendrick won the prize in 1997

The shortlist for the annual Forward Prize for Poetry has been revealed.

It is the first time since 1999 that women have dominated the shortlist for the 10,000 prize.

Previous winner Jamie McKendrick, acclaimed poet Sujata Bhatt, and journalist Mick Imlah are nominated for best collection.

They are joined by Jane Griffiths, Jen Hadfield and Catherine Smith. The prize, now in its 17th year, promotes contemporary poetry.

Frieda Hughes, chair of the judges, said: "It has been a joy working with my co-judges on this; no poem remained unturned, no judge remained unmoved and our shortlists represent the endlessly fascinating diversity of submissions.

Jamie McKendrick - Crocodiles & Obelisks
Sujata Bhatt - Pure Lizard
Mick Imlah - The Lost Leader
Jane Griffiths- Another Country
Jen Hadfield - Nigh-No-Place
Catherine Smith - Lip

"Our final decisions will be extremely difficult, but we have marvellous material to work with."

There are two other Forward Prizes, with the winners announced in London on 8 October.

Simon Barraclough, Andrew Forster, Frances Leviston, Allison McVety, Stephanie Norgate and Kathryn Simmonds 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.

Seamus Heaney is included for Cutaways, as is Christopher Buehlman's Wanton.

Campaign Desk, December 1812 by Catherine Ormell and Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridze by Don Paterson are also featured.

And completing the list are Kate Rhodes with Wells-next-the-Sea, and Tim Turnbull's Ode on a Grayson Perry Urn.

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