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Luke Kennard Wins Forward Poetry Prize 2021

Luke Kennard has won the Forward prize for best collection for his "anarchic" response to Shakespeare’s sonnets, Notes on the Sonnets (Penned in the Margins). Judges praised the way it captures "uncomfortable elements of human interaction and the changing nature of love."

Luke Kennard said: "I wrote the opening piece ‘Sonnet 66’ at a party. Then I got hooked on writing reactions to all 154, generally just reading the original a few times and getting some thoughts down. Then it turned into this strange, dreamlike narrative set at the same house party. I’ve written plenty of prose poems before but this was the most sustained sequence. I got shortlisted for my second collection in 2007, so it feels kind of extraordinary to be here again 14 years later, as a… former child star. It means a lot. You try to balance your ego against a sense of community. It’s still really lovely when something you’ve written makes an impact on someone else."

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