Judges Glyn Maxwell (Chair), Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial have chosen the 2021 T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist from a record 177 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers.
The shortlist consists of an eclectic mixture of established poets, none of whom has previously won the Prize, and relative newcomers. The list comprises one debut collection; work from six men and four women; one American; one poet from Ireland; as well as poets of Zambian and mixed-race ancestry, including Jamaican-British and Jamaican-Chinese.
Raymond Antrobus All the Names Given Picador
Kayo Chingonyi A Blood Condition Chatto & Windus
Selima Hill Men Who Feed Pigeons Bloodaxe
Victoria Kennefick Eat Or We Both Starve Carcanet
Hannah Lowe The Kids Bloodaxe
Michael Symmons Roberts Ransom Cape Poetry
Daniel Sluman single window Nine Arches Press
Joelle Taylor C+nto & Othered Poems The Westbourne Press
Jack Underwood A Year in the New Life Faber
Kevin Young Stones Cape Poetry
Glyn Maxwell said:
‘We are delighted with our shortlist, while lamenting all the fine work we had to set aside. Poetry styles are as disparate as we’ve ever known them, and the wider world as threatened and bewildered as any of us can remember. Out of this we have chosen ten books that sound clear and compelling voices of the moment. Older and younger, wiser and wilder, well-known and lesser-known, these are the ten voices we think should enter the stage and be heard in the spotlight, changing the story.’
The T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 9th January 2022 in the 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 for the Readings in the Royal Festival and the simultaneously streamed event are now on sale from the box office: 0203 879 9555 (Open from 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday)
Website: www.southbankcentre.co.uk. For press tickets please email email@example.com.
The winner of the 2021 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 10th January 2022, where the winner and the shortlisted poets will be presented with their cheques.
The T. S. Eliot Prize is run by The T. S. Eliot Foundation. It is the most valuable prize in British poetry – the winning poet will receive a cheque for £25,000 and the shortlisted poets will be presented with cheques for £1,500. It is the only major poetry prize which is judged purely by established poets. The 2021 judging panel are looking for the best new poetry collection written in English and published in the UK or Ireland in 2021.
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: tseliot.com/prize/subscribe-to-the-t-s-eliot-prize-newsletter/.
For more information on this year’s shortlist, visit the T. S. Eliot Prize website at https://tseliot.com/prize/the-t-s-eliot-prize-2021/shortlist/
Last year’s winner was Bhanu Kapil’s How to Wash a Heart and the judges were Lavinia Greenlaw(chair), Mona Arshi and Andrew McMillan.