T S Eliot Prize Shortlist Announced

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Posted: 20 October 2011

Judges Gillian Clarke (Chair), Stephen Knight and Dennis O'Driscoll have chosen six collections from the 104 books submitted by publishers, which join the four PBS Choices to make up the eight collections on the shortlist:

John Burnside              Black Cat Bone                              Jonathan Cape
Carol Ann Duffy            The Bees                                       Picador
Leontia Flynn               Profit and Loss                              Jonathan Cape
David Harsent              Night                                              Faber
Esther Morgan             Grace                                             Bloodaxe
Daljit Nagra                 Tippoo Sultan's Incredible              Faber
                                    White-Man-Eating Tiger
Sean O'Brien                November                                     Picador
Bernard O'Donoghue   Farmers Cross                               Faber

The Poetry Book Society regrets that Alice Oswald and John Kinsella have withdrawn thier collections from the shortlist.

Chair Gillian Clarke said:

‘This most demanding of all poetry prizes bears the name of a great twentieth century poet. A great book must win. The shortlist emerged with some pain but no dispute. Despite sorrow at losing other favourites, we're proud of these books, a library of the best, from which just one must be chosen.'


On the eve of the judges' decision all of the shortlisted poets will be invited to take part in the year's most thrilling poetry reading. On Sunday 15 January 2012 the T S Eliot Prize Readings will once more be staged at the Southbank's Royal Festival Hall, after doubling its audience in January 2011 and attracting one of the biggest audiences for a single poetry event in recent times. Anticipate an electric atmosphere as the poets read from their shortlisted collections, making the Readings a unique opportunity to hear the best contemporary poets reading their own work.


The winner will be announced on the evening of Monday 16 January 2012 at the T S Eliot Prize Award Ceremony, which will be held in the Haberdashers' Hall. Mrs Valerie Eliot, who has generously donated the prize money since the inception of the Prize, will present the winner with a cheque for £15,000 and each of the shortlisted poets will receive a cheque for £1,000 in recognition of their achievement.

Tickets are on sale now from Southbank Centre ticket office on 0844 847 9910 or go to the Southbank website, with a 10% discount on tickets sold prior to the end of November.


This scheme provides reading group discounts and specially commissioned reading group notes, together with three poems from each shortlisted collection, to download from www.poetrybooks.co.uk/projects/13.


Starting on 1 November, this offers A level students the opportunity to ‘shadow' the judges and also to take part in a competition for the best student rationale for their choice of winner.

The T S Eliot Prize is supported by the T S Eliot Estate, which kindly funds the award ceremony and pr for the Prize. As well as the Prize named in T S Eliot's honour, the Estate also supports the T S Eliot International Summer School, the London Library and the programme to publish all T S Eliot's work in new scholarly editions.

Categories: Poetry Prizes

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