The PBS is delighted to announce a wonderfully strong and varied shortlist for the 2014 T S Eliot Prize, with two poets from the US, one from India, three previous winners and one debut collection.
Judges Helen Dunmore (Chair), Sean Borodale and Fiona Sampson have chosen the shortlist from 113 books submitted by publishers:
Fiona Benson - Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape)
John Burnside - All One Breath (Jonathan Cape)
Louise Glück - Faithful and Virtuous Night (Carcanet)
David Harsent - Fire Songs (Faber)
Michael Longley - The Stairwell (Jonathan Cape)
Ruth Padel - Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth (Chatto & Windus)
Pascale Petit - Fauverie (Seren)
Kevin Powers - Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting (Sceptre)
Arundhathi Subramaniam - When God is a Traveller (Bloodaxe)
Hugo Williams - I Knew the Bride (Faber)
Chair Helen Dunmore said:
"After reading more than a hundred poetry collections the three judges for this year's T S Eliot Prize were delighted - and excited - by the quality of the work submitted. Our shortlist reflects the musicality, mastery and ambition of these ten chosen poets. It's worth saying that while our discussions were searching, our decisions were in all cases unanimous. As one judge said when we surveyed the pile of shortlisted books at the end of our meeting: 'This is a box-set I'd love to have'."
To mark the 50th anniversary of T S Eliot's death on 4 January 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. The T S Eliot Estate has also extended its support to become sole sponsor of the Prize.
The T S Eliot Prize Readings will take place on Sunday 11 January 2015 in Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. The shortlist readings are the largest annual poetry event in the UK. Tickets are now on sale from Southbank Centre's ticket office on 0844 847 9910 or via their website. For press tickets please contact Katie Toms on 020 7921 0926 or email.
The winner of the 2014 Prize will be announced at The Award Ceremony at the Wallace Collection on Monday 12 January 2015, 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 gave the prize money from the inception of the Prize. The shortlisted poets will each receive £1,500.
The T S Eliot Prize Reading Groups Scheme 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 new competition to win up to ten tickets for the Readings or a visit from one of the shortlisted poets.
The T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme, run by the Poetry Book Society in partnership with the English and Media Centre's emagazine, will offer ‘A' level students a chance to engage with the latest new poetry by shadowing the judges and taking part in a writing competition.
Last year's winner was Sinéad Morrissey for her collection Parallax (Carcanet). The judges were Ian Duhig (Chair), Imtiaz Dharker and Vicki Feaver.
In autumn 2013 the PBS completed a nationwide T S Eliot Prize 20th Anniversary Tour, taking shortlisted and prize-winning poets to ten venues across the country. See the blog and accompanying short film at http://poetrybooksoc.wordpress.com.