More about the Prize

The T S Eliot Prize for Poetry was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and honour its founding poet.

Described as ‘the prize most poets want to win' (Sir Andrew Motion, then Poet Laureate) and ‘the world's top poetry award' (Irish Independent), it is awarded to the author of the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland each year.

It is firmly established as the most valuable and prestigious prize in the UK for a new collection of poetry. It is distinctive among poetry prizes in being judged by a panel of established poets.  This year, to mark the 50th anniversary of T S Eliot's death on 4 February 2015, the T S Eliot Estate has increased the value of the Prize named in his honour. From this year the winner will receive £20,000 and the ten shortlisted poets will each receive £1,500.

Previous winners [in chronological order] are Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, Mark Doty, Les Murray, Don Paterson, Ted Hughes, Hugo Williams, Michael Longley, Anne Carson, Alice Oswald, Don Paterson (for the second time), George Szirtes, Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Sean O'Brien, Jen Hadfield, Philip Gross, Derek Walcott, John Burnside, Sharon Olds, Sinéad Morrissey and David Harsent.

List of previous winners:

2014        David Harsent        Fire Songs

2013        Sinéad Morrissey   Parallax

2012        Sharon Olds          Stag's Leap   

2011        John Burnside       Black Cat Bone

2010        Derek Walcott       White Egrets

2009        Philip Gross           The Water Table

2008        Jen Hadfield          Nigh-No-Place

2007        Sean O'Brien         The Drowned Book

2006        Seamus Heaney    District and Circle

2005        Carol Ann Duffy     Rapture

2004        George Szirtes      Reel

2003        Don Paterson        Landing Light

2002        Alice Oswald          Dart

2001        Anne Carson         The Beauty of the Husband

2000        Michael Longley     The Weather in Japan

1999        Hugo Williams        Billy's Rain

1998        Ted Hughes           Birthday Letters

1997        Don Paterson        God's Gift to Women

1996        Les Murray            Subhuman Redneck Poems

1995        Mark Doty              My Alexandria

1994        Paul Muldoon         The Annals of Chile

1993        Ciaran Carson        First Language: Poems

In autumn 2013 the Poetry Book Society ran the T S Eliot Prize 20th Anniversary Tour - see the blog and accompanying short film.

The T S Eliot Prize

Last year's winner