About the T. S. Eliot Prize

T. S. Eliot Prize winners: (top row, from left) Ocean Vuong, Michael Longley, Carol Ann Duffy, Paul Muldoon, Seamus Heaney, Sarah Howe, Don Paterson; (second row) Bhanu Kapil, Ted Hughes, Sean O’Brien, Sharon Olds, Roger Robinson, Alice Oswald, Philip Gross; (third row) Joelle Taylor, Anthony Joseph, John Burnside, Les Murray, Hannah Sullivan, Jen Hadfield; (fourth row) Mark Doty, Ciaran Carson, Derek Walcott, Jacob Polley, Anne Carson, Hugo Williams, George Szirtes, Sinéad Morrissey, David Harsent.

The T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry has been celebrating its 30th anniversary, having been inaugurated in 1993 to mark the Poetry Book Society’s 40th birthday and honour its founding poet. You can read former Director Chris Holifield’s short history of the Prize’s growth and development on this website.

Described as ‘the prize poets most want to win’ (Sir Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate) and ‘the world’s top poetry award’ (Independent), it is awarded annually to the author of the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland.

It is firmly established as the most valuable and prestigious prize in the UK for a new collection of poetry. It is distinctive among poetry prizes in being judged by a panel of established poets. In 2017, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Prize, the T. S. Eliot Estate increased the value of the Prize. The winner now receives £25,000 and the ten shortlisted poets each receive £1,500.

In 2016 the charity the Poetry Book Society closed down, transferring the Poetry Book Society, its membership and book club to Inpress Ltd. The T. S. Eliot Prize was taken over by the T. S. Eliot Foundation, which now runs and supports it.

Media queries relating to the T. S. Eliot Prize should be addressed to Gina Rozner ginarozner@icloud.com

List of previous winners

  • 2022 | Anthony Joseph Sonnets for Albert
  • 2021 | Joelle Taylor C+nto & Othered Poems
  • 2020 | Bhanu Kapil How to Wash a Heart
  • 2019 | Roger Robinson A Portable Paradise
  • 2018 | Hannah Sullivan Three Poems
  • 2017 | Ocean Vuong Night Sky with Exit Wounds
  • 2016 | Jacob Polley Jackself
  • 2015 | Sarah Howe Loop of Jade
  • 2014 | David Harsent Fire Songs
  • 2013 | Sinéad Morrissey  Parallax
  • 2012 | Sharon Olds Stag’s Leap
  • 2011 | John Burnside Black Cat Bone
  • 2010 | Derek Walcott White Egrets
  • 2009 | Philip Gross The Water Table
  • 2008 | Jen Hadfield Nigh-No-Place
  • 2007 | Sean O’Brien The Drowned Book
  • 2006 | Seamus Heaney District and Circle
  • 2005 | Carol Ann Duffy Rapture
  • 2004 | George Szirtes Reel
  • 2003 | Don Paterson Landing Light
  • 2002 | Alice Oswald Dart
  • 2001 | Anne Carson The Beauty of the Husband
  • 2000 | Michael Longley The Weather in Japan
  • 1999 | Hugo Williams Billy’s Rain
  • 1998 | Ted Hughes Birthday Letters
  • 1997 | Don Paterson God’s Gift to Women
  • 1996 | Les Murray Subhuman Redneck Poems
  • 1995 | Mark Doty My Alexandria
  • 1994 | Paul Muldoon The Annals of Chile
  • 1993 | Ciaran Carson First Language: Poems