Poet Brought To Life/ Winner Of Forward Prize – Poetry News Roundup 23rd October

Today in our poetry news round up, we look at the poetry brought to life through animation and the winner of the new poetry category of the Forward Prize.

Alumnus of University of Westminster Brings “Sad Book” to Life

An alumnus of University of Westminster, Finn Woodruff, has worked with the poet and author Michael Rosen in order to bring Sad Book, written in 2004, to life as an animated film on the subject of mental health.

This is not the first animation that Woodruff has made from work by Rosen. During his final year at the university he also animated the poem “Footsteps”.

“Sad Book” which takes a personal look at the grief of the poet following the death of his son Eddie, was illustrated by Quentin Blake, who also illustrated many of the Roald Dahl books. The university helped Woodruff get in touch with Rosen and together they worked to create “Sad Film,” an animated film which was the students graduation piece.

Because of the personal nature of the poem, Woodruff wasn’t sure that Rosen who be happy with what he was planning but he was happy to be onboard for the project and the adaptation has been incredibly well received. Permission was also granted by Quentin Blake to adapt some of his original illustrations.

“Sad Film” has been nominated for the Royal Television Society Student Awards this year in two categories, those of Best Sound and Best Animation. This is an award that supports creative minds and celebrates students whilst also offering them a chance to have their work critiqued by industry professionals.

Winner of New Forward Prize Category Announced

Bohdan Piasecki has been announced as the winner of the best performed poem in what is a new category for the Forward prize this year. His winning entry was “Almost Certainly”, and his performance was described by the judges as electric. The award is one that recognises spoken word poets.

This is the first year that this category has appeared in the Forward Prizes. Bohdan Piasecki is a Polish-born poet who lives and works in Birmingham. The best single poem in the written category was libation, which was written by Malika Booker. This is the second time that she has won the category.  The best collection prize was awarded to Jason Allen-Paisant.

The poetry community at large had welcomed the inclusion of a performance category, feeing that it is a much need addition to a literary prize. This inaugural poem will win a prize of £1000. “Almost Certainly” takes a look at both the British and polish communities and was described by the judges as being “is not only moving and meticulously crafted”, but also an electric performance that offered a perfect example of exactly what constitutes performance poetry and sets it apart from a simple recitation.

Established in 1992, the Forward Prizes have become an important award that has recognised some of the biggest names in the field over the years. These include Carol Ann Duffy. Simon Armitage and Ted Hughes.

The Forward prizes were established in 1992 and have recognised some of the biggest names in poetry, including Simon Armitage, Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy, all of whom went on to be appointed to the position of poet laureate in the UK.


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