A selection from a decade's worth of Forward anthologies, so one would expect it to be a good read, and so it is. The selection isn't done anonymously though. I read quickly, gathering first impressions.
My likes include Armitage's "Chainsaw versus the Pampas grass", Ros Barber's "Material", Paul Farley's "Liverpool disappears for a billionth of a second", Patrick McGuinness's "A history of doing nothing", Robert Minhinnick's "The fox in the national museum of Wales", Caitriona O'Reilly's "Autobiography".
Burnside still divides me. His "History" includes
and though we are confined by property|
what tethers us to gravity and light
has most to do with distance and the shapes
we find in water
Sometimes I am dizzy with the fear|
of losing everything - the sea, the sky,
all living creatures, forests, estuaries:
we trade so much to know the virtual
we scarcely register the drift and tug
of other bodies
the long insomnia|
of ornamental carp in public parks
captive and bright
and hung in their own
which is close to being tosh - the abstracts soon lose their power to surprise, and "transitive gold", along with the indents, suggest poetic bankruptcy. If you let yourself be dragged along by his mood music though, it's a fun ride.
If anything was going to be considered ineligible because it's not a poem (irrespective of quality), it would be "Bernard Manning plays Totnes Civic Hall" by Hilary Menos.
Rhyme's not dead yet. There are sestinas by Kate Bingham and Allan Crosbie (the latter repeating more than the final words in lines). Sinead Morrissey has a villanelle. Emma Jones and Jo Shapcott have sonnets. Cope and Sophie Hannah rhyme, the latter repeating lines too. Mick Imlah rhymes thoroughly, as do John Stammers and Tim Turnbull.