Judges Sinéad Morrissey (Chair), Daljit Nagra and Clare Pollard have chosen the 2018 T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist from a record 176 poetry collections submitted by ‘a plethora of poetry publishers’. The shortlist comprises 5 debut collections, one small press, five men, five women, and two Americans.

Ailbhe Darcy – Insistence (Bloodaxe)
Terrance Hayes – American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassins (Penguin)
Zaffar Kunial – Us (Faber & Faber)
Nick Laird – Feel Free (Faber & Faber)
Fiona Moore – The Distal Point (HappenStance)
Sean O’Brien – Europa (Picador)
Phoebe Power – Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet)
Richard Scott – Soho (Faber & Faber)
Tracy K Smith – Wade in the Water (Penguin)
Hannah Sullivan – Three Poems (Faber & Faber)

For more information on the poets shortlisted, see our shortlist page.

‘Poetry is a flourishing art form.’ Chair Sinéad Morrissey said. ‘We read 176 collections from a plethora of poetry publishers, both new and established, and felt privileged to listen in to such a lively, diverse and urgent conversation.

With difficulty we chose our ten brilliant poetry books of the year – many of them debut collections. Together they offer an invigorated language, confident mastery of form, and fresh, sophisticated perspectives on our uncertain times.’

The T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 13th January 2019 in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall as part of its literature programme. 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 0203 879 9555 or via For press tickets please contact Naomi French on 0207 921 0678 or email

The T. S. Eliot Prize
is run by The T. S. Eliot Foundation. It is the most valuable prize in British poetry, with the winning poet receiving a cheque for £25,000 and the shortlisted poets each receiving £1,500. It is the only poetry prize which is judged purely by established poets.

The winner of the 2018 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 14th January 2019, where the winner and the shortlisted poets will be presented with their cheques. This continues the tradition started by Mrs Valerie Eliot, who provided the prize money from the inception of the Prize.

The weekly T. S. Eliot Prize newsletter will provide essential background on the shortlisted poets, including links to specially-commissioned new videos, readers’ notes and reviews. To subscribe go to:

Last year’s winner was Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the judges were W N Herbert (Chair), James Lasdun and Helen Mort.