DANEZ Smith, Phoebe Power and Liz Berry have been announced as the winners of the Forward Prizes for poetry.

The 2018 winners were revealed at an event in London.

Smith won the £10,000 prize for best collection for Don't Call Us Dead, Phoebe Power won the Felix Dennis Award for Best First Collection for Shrines of Upper Austria, while Liz Berry’s ‘The Republic of Motherhood’ won the award for Best Single Poem.

The critic and broadcaster Bidisha, chair of the Forward Prizes jury, said: "The work of the three winners, taken together, speaks of poetry’s power to bear witness, express new ways of seeing, and apply itself with endless versatility.

"At a time when poetry sales are growing, the jury’s choices illuminate the capacity of contemporary poets to find public words for matters of intimate importance and political urgency."

Danez Smith, from the US, is at 29 years old the Best Collection Prize’s youngest winner.

Bidisha, on behalf of the judges, said: "The tight lyrical poems in Don’t Call Us Dead feel utterly contemporary, and exciting.

"Showing an astonishing formal and emotional range and a mastery of metrical, musical language, Smith’s finely crafted poetry makes us look anew at the intertwined natures of politics and sexuality and stands as a powerful warning: this is what’s happening, be

alert, pay attention."

Phoebe Power’s Shrines of Upper Austria began as a narrative sequence ‘Austrian Murder Case’, that became an exploration of the culture and environment of Austria.

Liz Berry’s ‘The Republic of Motherhood’ addresses the experience of becoming a new mother.

Her debut, Black Country, won the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection in 2015.

The jury included Chris McCabe, director of the National Poetry Library, poets Mimi Khalvati and Niall Campbell, plus Jen

Campbell, poet and author.


ARTISTS from Scotland and Norway are to be the subject of a new exhibition in Shetland.

'Northbound | Nordgående' is a touring exhibition of contemporary ceramics, drawing, sculpture and performance, and runs until 4 November.

The main gallery at Bonhoga will feature work by the Biosenario Collective, Ingeborg Blom Andersskog, Jenny Mackenzie Ross, Rebecca Brown and Siri Brekke.

The exhibition began at An Talla Solais Gallery in Ullapool, before touring north to Thurso, then to Bonhoga before completing its tour at Fjell Festning Museum near Bergen in early 2019.

Biosenario spent six weeks in Ullapool last year through a residency awarded by An Talla Solais through the Royal Scottish Academy’s Open Exhibition.

Rebecca Brown travelled to Norway to spend time researching coastal folklore to inspire her work.

Ingeborg Blom Andersskog completed a residency in Ullapool during the first week of the exhibition and created a new work in the gallery using her ideas.

The project, and this exhibition, is supported by Creative Scotland, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Henry Moore Foundation.

'Northbound | Nordgående' opens on 22 September.


THE FIFTH Hebrides International Film Festival is taking place in venues throughout the Outer Hebrides from now until Saturday, 22 September 22.

An important part of this year’s film festival is the screening of current environmental documentary features such as Blue, which has been described by Greenpeace as “a cinematic song for our oceans”.

It was filmed in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Pacific and United States.

A Plastic Ocean was shot over four years at 20 locations across the planet and shines a light on the plastic pollution crisis.

There are 26 feature films on the programme and there will be a total of 56 screenings across the venues over the four days, with each screening including a feature film and an accompanying short.

There are around 13 shorts on the programme including Cianalas, by young Hebridean Zoe Paterson Macinnes, and MS, Mexico and Me which tells the story of Aileen Hunt who travelled from her home in Uig to Mexico for stem cell treatment, in a bid to halt the progression of multiple sclerosis.

The festival has a broad theme of “islands, environmental issues and indigenous peoples” and a particular focus on the “ocean” theme this year.

Other films include comedy and children’s film as well as drama and documentary.