New Year, new PBS Selectors! We're excited to finally reveal our new PBS Selectors who will be joining us this year to read a wide selection of books and pamphlets and award the prestigious PBS accolades.
We're delighted to welcome the following prize-winning poets to Team PBS: Pamphlet Selectors Mary Jean Chan and Nick Makoha; Book Selectors Andrew McMillan and Sinead Morrissey (starting Autumn) and Translation Selector: Ilya Kaminsky. We can't wait to see their PBS choices, starting with our Summer 2020 selections onwards.
Thanks so much to our incredible outgoing PBS Selectors Sandeep Parmar, Vidyan Ravinthiran, George Szirtes, AB Jackson and Degna Stone who have done such a wonderful job of discovering new talent ahead of the crowds and widening our outlook to find the very best new poetry books from publishers big and small. Join the Poetry Book Society here.
Sinéad Morrissey was born in Northern Ireland in 1972 and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. She has published six collections of poetry: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996); Between Here and There (2002); The State of the Prisons (2005); Through the Square Window (2009); Parallax (2013) and On Balance (2017). Her awards include the Irish Times Poetry Now Award (2009, 2013) and the T S Eliot Prize (2013). In 2016 she received the E M Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. On Balance was awarded the Forward Prize in 2017. She has served as Belfast Poet Laureate (2013-2014) and is currently Director of the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts at Newcastle University.
Andrew McMillan’s debut collection physical was the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award. The collection also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award (2016), an Eric Gregory Award (2016) and a Northern Writers’ award (2014). It was shortlisted the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2016, the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Polari First Book Prize. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2015. In 2019 it was voted as one of the top 25 poetry books of the past 25 years by the Booksellers Association. His second collection, playtime, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2018; it was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Autumn 2018, a Poetry Book of the Month in both The Observer and The Telegraph, a Poetry Book of the Year in The Sunday Times and was shortlisted for the Polari Prize. He is senior lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at MMU and lives in Manchester.
Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. Ilya is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press) and Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press). He has also co-edited and co-translated many other books, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books). His awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, Lannan Foundation's Fellowship and the NEA Fellowship. Deaf Republic was the finalist for 2019 National Book Award, Forward Prize (UK) and T.S. Eliot Prize (UK). It was also named Best Book of 2019 by Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, The Telegraph, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian, Irish Times, Vanity Fair, Lithub, Library Journal and New Statesman.
Mary Jean Chan is a London-based poet from Hong Kong. She is an editor of Oxford Poetry and a Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University. Her debut pamphlet A Hurry of English (ignitionpress 2018) was a Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice, and was chosen by Gay's the Word as one of their Best Books of the Year for 2018. Mary Jean came Second in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem twice. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2019, and won the 2018 Poetry Society Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for her collection's title poem. Her debut collection, Flèche (Faber & Faber 2019) is a Poetry Book Society and won the Costa Book Award for poetry.
Nick Makoha's debut collection Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. He was appointed as Wasafiri’s Writer-in-Residence for 2019. He is part of the judging panel for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2019. His poems appeared in The Cambridge Review, The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri. He is a Trustee for the Arvon Foundation, The Ministry of Stories and a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective. Find out more at www.nickmakoha.com