All these extraordinary books will make a good read and a memorable present. It is also an honour for the poets chosen.

Ruth is one of seventy-two great-great-grandchildren of Charles Darwin.  Ruth Padel has won the first prize in one of our most coveted awards, the National Poetry Competition. The quality of her work has remained timeless with much enviable consistency. All great poets have a deep sense of music and how words assemble in line with that sate of mind. But Ruth’s understanding of it goes deeper. She grew up playing chamber music and singing, and took raga lessons. Singing and playing music of all kinds, especially classical and world music, informs her work deeply.

The Year 2019 can be emphatically coined as the Raymond Antrobus year! Deaf at birth and not diagnosed until he was seven, as Antrobus says, his poems are an ‘investigation of missing sounds’. Not to forget that he also investigates meaning; after all, how can any poem ignore that leap! He has emerged as one of our most revered contemporary poets.