The 2015 Shortlist

Mark Doty - Deep Lane (Cape Poetry)

Mark Doty

Mark Doty's Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. His eight books of poems include School of the Arts, Source and My Alexandria. He has also published four volumes of non-fiction prose. Mark was the first American poet to receive the T S Eliot Prize for My Alexandria, and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in New York City and on Long Island. He is Professor/Writer in Residence at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Tracey Herd - Not in this World (Bloodaxe)


Tracey Herd

Tracey Herd was born in 1968 in East Kilbride. She studied at Dundee University, where she was Creative Writing Fellow in 1998-2001. In 1993 she won an Eric Gregory Award, and in 1995 a Scottish Arts Council Bursary. In 2004 she received a second Scottish Arts Council bursary. She is a freelance writer who worked for some years as a bookseller, and has latterly been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She has previously published two collections with Bloodaxe: No Hiding Place (1996), which was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; and Dead Redhead (2001), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.


Selima Hill - Jutland (Bloodaxe)

Selima Hill

Selima Hill was born in London in 1945 and grew up in rural England and Wales. Her long poem The Accumulation of Small Acts of Kindness (Chatto & Windus) won first prize in the 1988 Arvon Foundation/Observer International Poetry Competition and her 1997 collection, Violet (Bloodaxe), was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the Whitbread Poetry Award. Bunny (2001) was a Poetry Book Society Choice and won the Whitbread Poetry Award. A volume of selected poems, Gloria, was published by Bloodaxe in 2008. Selima lives in Dorset and is a tutor at the Poetry School in London.


Sarah Howe - Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus)


Sarah Howe

Born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, Sarah Howe moved to England as a child. Her pamphlet, A Certain Chinese Encyclopedia (Tall-lighthouse, 2009), won an Eric Gregory Award. Her poems have appeared in journals including Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry London, The Guardian and Poetry, as well as anthologies such as Ten: The New Wave and The Best British Poetry. She is the founding editor of Prac Crit. She recently served as one the judges for the UK's National Poetry Competition, and is currently a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute. Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus) is her first collection, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize, and awarded the Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award 2015.


Tim Liardet - The World Before Snow (Carcanet)

Tim Liardet

Tim Liardet was born in London in 1959 and was educated at the University of York. He has published ten collections of poetry, including Competing with the Piano Tuner (Seren, 1998), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, To the God of Rain (Seren, 2003), a PBS Recommendation and The Blood Choir (Seren, 2008), which was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. Priest Skear (Shoestring Press, 2010) was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. The World Before Snow was published by Carcanet. He currently lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. His pamphlet, Madame Sasoo Goes Bathing, was published by Shoestring Press in 2013.


Les Murray - Waiting for the Past (Carcanet)


Les Murray

Raised in rural New South Wales, Les Murray attended Sydney University before working for five years as a science and technical translator at the National University in Canberra. While there, he collaborated with Geoffrey Lehmann to produce The Ilex Tree in 1965. He then travelled around Europe and the UK before returning to Australia to be a full-time poet and author. He won the
T S Eliot Prize in 1996, the Queen's Gold Medal in 1998 and the Mondello Prize in 2005. He is also author of the verse novel Fredy Neptune. Les has also edited the New Oxford Book of Australian Verse (1986-2000) and the magazine Quadrant's literary pages.


Sean O'Brien - The Beautiful Librarians (Picador)


Sean O

Sean O'Brien was born in London and grew up in Hull. He was co-founder of the literary magazine The Printer's Devil and regularly contributes to a variety of newspapers and magazines. His poetry collections include The Indoor Park (1983); Ghost Train (1995) and Downriver (2001). Cousin Coat: Selected Poems 1976-2001 was published in 2002. Inferno, his verse version of Dante's Inferno, was published in 2006 and The Drowned Book won the 2007 T S Eliot Prize. Ghost Train, Downriver and The Drowned Book have all won the Forward Poetry Prize. His last collection, November, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize in 2011.


Don Paterson - 40 Sonnets (Faber)


Don Paterson

Don Paterson was born in Dundee in 1963. His collections of poetry include Nil Nil (Faber, 1993), God's Gift to Women (Faber, 1997), Landing Light (Faber, 2003), Orpheus (Faber, 2006) and Rain (Faber, 2009). His poetry has won a number of awards, including the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whitbread Poetry Prize and the T S Eliot Prize on two occasions. Most recently, Rain won the 2009 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He received the OBE in 2008 and the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010. He teaches poetry at the University of St Andrews, and since 1996 has been editor of the Picador poetry list.


Rebecca Perry - Beauty/Beauty (Bloodaxe)

Rebecca Perry

Rebecca Perry was born in London in 1986. She graduated from The Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester in 2008 with a master's degree in Creative Writing and now lives and works back in London. Her pamphlet, little armoured, was published by Seren in 2012. Beauty/Beauty, her first full collection, published by Bloodaxe in January 2015, is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection. Her work can be found at The Quietus and B O D Y. She co-edits the online journal Poems In Which.


Claudia Rankine - Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin)


Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine was born in 1963 in Jamaica and was raised in Kingston and New York City. She currently teaches Creative Writing at Pomona College in Claremont, California. She is the author of five books, including Plot (2001, Grove Press) and Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004, Graywolf Press). A chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she is the winner of the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin) won the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Collection.