T S Eliot Prize

Distinguished international shortlist for 2015 T S Eliot Prize

The 2015 Shortlist

The Poetry Book Society is delighted to announce a distinguished international shortlist for the 2015 T S Eliot Prize, with one poet from the US, one from Jamaica, one from Australia, two Scots, four previous winners and two first collections.

Judges Pascale Petit (Chair), Kei Miller and Ahren Warner have unanimously chosen the shortlist from a record 142 books submitted by publishers:

Mark Doty - Deep Lane (Cape Poetry)
Tracey Herd - Not in this World (Bloodaxe)
Selima Hill - Jutland (Bloodaxe)
Sarah Howe - Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus)
Tim Liardet - The World Before Snow (Carcanet)
Les Murray - Waiting for the Past (Carcanet)
Sean O'Brien - The Beautiful Librarians (Picador)
Don Paterson - 40 Sonnets (Faber)
Rebecca Perry - Beauty/Beauty (Bloodaxe)
Claudia Rankine - Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin)

Chair Pascale Petit said:

"This is a fantastic year for poetry, with the highest amount of entries submitted in the history of the prize, and an exceptional number of outstanding collections, including many dazzling debuts. This made our task of choosing the shortlist tricky - many that didn't make it are books we love. But we were unanimous about our final list, the books my distinguished fellow judges and I picked all awed and excited us with their ambition, verve and technical mastery."

The T S Eliot Prize Readings will take place on Sunday 10 January 2016 at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. The shortlist readings are the largest annual poetry event in the UK and will be hosted once again by Ian McMillan. Tickets are now on sale from Southbank Centre's ticket office on 0844 847 9910 or online here.

The winner of the 2015 Prize will be announced at the T S Eliot Prize Award Ceremony on Monday 11 January 2016, where the winning poet will be presented with a cheque for £20,000, donated by the T S Eliot Estate. This continues the tradition started by Mrs Valerie Eliot, who provided the prize money from the inception of the Prize. The shortlisted poets will each receive £1,500. The T S Eliot Estate increased its support last year to become sole supporter of the Prize.

Last year's winner was David Harsent for his collection Fire Songs (Faber). The judges were Helen Dunmore (Chair), Sean Borodale and Fiona Sampson.

The T S Eliot Prize Reading Groups Scheme, which will be announced on 29 October, will enable reading groups and individual readers to read and discuss the shortlist. Reading group notes, together with three poems from each shortlisted collection, will be made available to download from the PBS website. This year, reading groups can enter a competition to win up to ten tickets for the Readings or two sets of signed copies of the shortlist.

The T S Eliot Prize Writing Competition for sixth form students is being relaunched this year with a new additional category for students to write their own poem in response to their choice of one of the shortlisted poems. The Writing Competition is run in conjunction with the English and Media Centre.

Visit our YouTube page to hear last year's Shortlist Readings