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Join 2022 judge and multi-award-winning poet Stephen Sexton and journalist and poet Shivanee Ramlochan as they host the presentation of the UK and Ireland’s most coveted poetry prizes.

The Forward Prizes are an unmissable fixture on the literary calendar – a celebration for all who want to discover and enjoy the best contemporary poetry. 

All of the shortlisted poets are invited to read on the night: 

Best Collection – Kaveh Akbar (Pilgrim Bell), Anthony Joseph (Sonnets for Albert), Shane McCrae (Cain Named the Animal), Kim Moore (All the Men I Never Married), Helen Mort (The Illustrated Woman) 

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection – Mohammed El-Kurd (Rifqa), Holly Hopkins (The English Summer), Padraig Regan (Some Integrity), Warsan Shire (Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head), Stephanie Sy-Quia (Amnion) 

Best Single Poem – Louisa Campbell, Cecilia Knapp, Nick Laird, Carl Phillips, and Clare Pollard  

This year’s judges – Fatima Bhutto, Rishi Dastidar, alice hiller, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Stephen Sexton – read more than 215 poetry collections and 192 nominated single poems to find the most exciting poetry published in the British Isles.


See the full programme for the ceremony at this link here.

To experience a plain text, large print version click this link here.

About Forward Prizes

Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most influential awards for new poetry in the UK and Ireland, honouring fresh voices alongside internationally established names. Learn more here


To secure your tickets to the live stream of this event, head to this page here.

Please email box office at for any queries related to the live stream.


Buy a ticket to this year’s Forward Prizes Ceremony for your chance to WIN a brilliant book bundle!

We’re gifting 2 lucky ticket holders their very own copies of this year’s shortlist collection. That’s FIVE BOOKS EACH of the best contemporary poetry of the last year, across our Best Collection and Best First Collection categories.

All you have to do is buy a live ticket to attend the Forward Prizes Ceremony at Contact Manchester before Friday 25th November. Winners will be announced on 28th November. All existing ticket holders are eligible to win. Good luck!


If you have any access needs you want to discuss with us, please call the box office Monday to Friday between 10 – 10pm on 0161 274 0600.

Alternatively, you can email the box office on, or get in touch via direct message on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@contactmcr on all three platforms).

Once you have been booked in a wheelchair seat once, you can book online from then onwards and do not have to call our box office team to facilitate your booking. Please do reach out if you have any questions about this process.

Content Warnings

The Poetry this evening explores themes around death, grief, addiction, suicide along with strong language and sexual content. 

A person in a white shirt and black blazer speaking on a podiumA person in a pink shirt and black blazer, wearing red lipstick with their hair pulled back speaking on a podium

  • Price
    £15 Full price | £12 Under 35 | £10 Concessions
  • Venue

    Contact, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6JA

  • Running
    2 hours 20 minutes, including a 25 minute interval
  • Genre
Date Time & Place
Monday 28 November 7:00pm
Sold out