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Fiona Benson wins Forward prize with Greek myth poems for #MeToo age

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Poems on grieving through Super Mario, ‘honour’ killings and sexual violence claim top awards

Fiona Benson’s second collection, Vertigo & Ghost, has won the prestigious £10,000 Forward prize for best poetry collection, seeing off competition from fellow TS Eliot prize-shortlisted poets Ilya Kaminsky and Vidyan Ravinthiran before that prize being announced in January next year.

Described as a collection that brings the violence of Greek myths into the #MeToo era, Vertigo & Ghost explores female fear, desire and ferocity, while rebranding the god Zeus as a serial rapist. Throughout the collection, Benson draws clear parallels between the events of Greek mythology and our own contemporary political moment: “I kept the dictaphone running / it recorded nothing / but my own voice / vulcanised and screaming / you won’t get away with this.

Related: Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson review – songs of shock and survival

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