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.
2011 John Burnside Black Cat Bone
List of previous winners:
2014 David Harsent Fire Songs
2013 Sinéad Morrissey Parallax
2012 Sharon Olds Stag's Leap