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Gregory Woods Longlisted for the Polari Prize

Friday, 22 Jul 2022

No Text We're delighted to announce that Gregory Woods' collection Records of an Incitement to Silence has been longlisted for the Polari Prize! The prize is the UK’s only dedicated awards for LGBTQ+ literature. In November, to mark the salon’s 15th birthday and the 11th anniversary of the Polari Prize, it will move to its new home at the British Library. The British Library will also collaborate with Polari on upcoming events, including a shortlist showcase on Sep 15.

Paul Burston, Polari Salon founder, said:

“Since the launch of the Polari First Book Prize way back in 2011, watching the awards grow year on year has been so encouraging and so rewarding. With the addition of the new prize for books for younger readers, the awards now celebrate LGBTQ+ writing in all its many varieties and send a clear message to the publishing industry and the wider community – we’re here, we’re queer and our stories are worthy of being told.”

The full longlist is:

Address Book – Neil Bartlett (Inkandescent)
Valentine Ackland – Frances Bingham (Handheld Classics)
Scent – Isabel Costello (Muswell Press)
Baggage – Alan Cumming (Canongate Books)
Lullaby Beach – Stella Duffy (Virago)
All of You Every Single One – Beatrice Hitchman (Serpent’s Tail)
The Great Good Time – Roz Kaveney (Team Angelica)
The Origins of Iris – Beth Lewis (Hodder)
Rocksong – Golnoosh Nour (Verve Poetry Press)
C*nto and Othered Poems – Joelle Taylor (Saqi Books / The Westbourne Press)
The Dinner Guest – BP Walter (One More Chapter)

Congratulations to Greg on this achievement! Find out more about the prize on the Polari Prize website.
Records of an Incitement to Silence
Gregory Woods is the leading British critic and historian of gay literature. He has published five previous Carcanet poetry collections, the first being We Have The Melon (1992). Ten years in the making, Records of an Incitement to Silence revisits many of the original themes, but here Woods brings them closer to the endgame.

The sequence of stripped-down, unrhymed sonnets, and the longer poems that accentuate it, suggest a missing narrative: the growth of the individual in a world of upheaval, the search for and loss of love, the formation of memories, the limits of what can truthfully be said, the traces we leave and the chance of their survival.

'One of my creative habits,' Woods writes, 'is the wringing-out of a single form until it's bone dry: the unrhymed sonnets; the monosyllabic syllabics of the long poem "Hat Reef Loud"; the incompatible yoking-together of iambic pentameter and dactylic trimeter in the long poem "No Title Yet".' His formal stringency intensifies the poems' emotional and erotic charge, their celebration and their plaint.

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