Wednesday 21 May 2014

Next Generation Poets

The Poetry Book Society is looking for 20 poets to be part of their Next Generation promotion. It last happened about 10 years ago (I wrote a review), and there was another 20 years ago.

Submissions are made by publishers who pay £20 to enter a poet who's started publishing in the last 10 years. They pay a further £300 per title if the poet's selected. See the PBS page page for details. That all sounds fine to me - those amounts shouldn't discourage small presses too much. Previous promotions have raised the profile of poetry, so I don't see why it shouldn't work this time too.

There are signs of a new generation emerging - see my Recent UK poetry anthologies: tradition and the individual - so perhaps this promotion is timely. Judging by previous years however, the choices will be rather conservative, barely risking the odd joker in the pack. The M/F and regional ratios will be scrutinized. Niall Campbell can represent Scotland. I expect Ahren Warner to be included. Also Oli Hazzard, Helen Mort, Sam Riviere, Luke Kennard and Toby Martinez de las Rivas. Sam Willetts would add marketing possibilities if he's eligible. Emily Berry and Rebecca Goss are contenders too. And why not Matt Merritt, Marion McCready, Rob MacKenzie, Simon Barraclough, and Judy Brown?

Oops - I'm up to 15 names already. The official list of 20 will be announced on 9 September 2014.

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