Burning Eye Books and Bang Said The Gun have teamed up to launch the Not The Forward Prizes For Poetry.

There are two prizes:
The NOT THE FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST COLLECTION or PAMPHLET (which is for books that are not the author’s first published work)

The aim is to champion and celebrate poetry from the kind of poets and publishers who can sometimes be ignored by establishment poetry prizes and celebrate the wonder and breadth of UK published poetry. (These prizes are not intended to disrespect any organisation or poet, it’s just a bit of fun).


  • These are poetry prizes so only poetry books are eligible.
  • Anyone can nominate
  • One nomination for a book is enough for it to go through to the final longish-shortlong-list for judging
  • Books can be nominated if they were first published between 1st October 2018 and 30th September 2019 in the UK by a UK based publisher and are by a poet normally resident in the UK.
  • Books should be single author pamphlets or collections FIRST published in the UK between the dates above. Any book previously published anywhere in the known universe before 1st October 2018 is not eligible even if the UK version was published within these dates.
    Book by poets and publishers on any of this year’s Forward Prizes shortlists are NOT eligible.
  • Books that have previously been shortlisted, long listed or have won any other prize are not eligible.
  • The winner will be chosen by the Magic Judging Hat from which the winning book will be chosen by a blindfolded Magic Judging Assistant. The Magic Judging Hat’s decision will be final and the hat will not enter into any correspondence about the result.
  • The date of the judging is TBC but will be no later than 31st October 2019.

There are no cash prizes as we have no cash. A trophy for each prize will be awarded to the winners. The winner of the Daniel Cockrill Prize for Best First Collection will receive signed copies of Daniel Cockrill’s new Burning Eye collection Notes on Loneliness and his art book Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment.