We are thrilled to announce the T. S. Eliot Prize 2023 shortlist, chosen by judges Paul Muldoon (Chair), Sasha Dugdale and Denise Saul from 186 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers. The list comprises a former winner and two previously shortlisted poets, as well as two debuts and two second collections. Poets hail from the UK, Ireland, Jamaica, Hong Kong and the USA.
Jason Allen-Paisant, Self-Portrait as Othello (Carcanet Press)
Joe Carrick-Varty, More Sky (Carcanet Press)
Jane Clarke, A Change in the Air (Bloodaxe Books)
Kit Fan, The Ink Cloud Reader (Carcanet Press)
Katie Farris, Standing in the Forest of Being Alive
(Pavilion Poetry / Liverpool University Press)
Ishion Hutchinson, School of Instructions (Faber & Faber)
Fran Lock, Hyena! (Poetry Bus Press)
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, The Map of the World (Gallery Press)
Sharon Olds, Balladz (Cape Poetry)
Abigail Parry, I Think We’re Alone Now (Bloodaxe Books)
On behalf of the judges Paul Muldoon said:
We are confident that all ten shortlisted titles not only meet the high standards they set themselves but speak most effectively to, and of, their moment. If there’s a single word for that moment it is surely ‘disrupted’, and all these poets properly reflect that disruption. Shot through though they are with images of grief, migration, and conflict, they are nonetheless imbued with energy and joy. The names of some poets will be familiar, others less so; all will find a place in your head and heart.
The judges added:
We are aware that two of the titles on the list fall short of the 48 pages required. However, both are fully achieved poetry collections that merit their inclusion on the shortlist.
Katie Farris’s Standing in the Forest of Being Alive and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s The Map of the World were submitted by publishers and put before the judges in error, but when notified of this, the judges declined to exclude them, citing their reason above.
The T. S. Eliot Prize 2023 Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 14 January 2024 at 7pm in the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall as part of its literature programme. This is the largest annual poetry event in the UK. Tickets for the Readings in the Royal Festival Hall will be on sale later this year.
The winner of the 2023 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 15 January 2024, where the winner and the shortlisted poets will be presented with their cheques.
The T. S. Eliot Prize, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, 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 judging panel is looking for the best new poetry collection written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.
To find out more about our winners and their collections, visit our Shortlist webpage, where you will also find reviews, interviews and Readers’ Notes as we add them. Look out for specially commissioned videos of interviews and poems by all ten shortlisted poets, which will be available to view on the T. S. Eliot Prize YouTube channel, along with past films and recordings.
The weekly T. S. Eliot Prize e-newsletter provides essential background on the shortlisted poets, including links to videos, readers’ notes, reviews and selected poems, which are free to download and share – for your weekly update, please subscribe
Last year’s winner was Anthony Joseph for his collection Sonnets for Albert (Bloomsbury Poetry); the judges were Jean Sprackland (Chair), Hannah Lowe and Roger Robinson.
Image credits, top row, left to right: Abigail Parry (photo © Richard Arnold); Joe Carrick-Varty; Sharon Olds (photo © Hilary Stone); Ishion Hutchinson (photo © Marco Giugliarelli); Fran Lock. Second row, left to right: Katie Farris, photo © Ilya Kaminsky); Jane Clarke (photo © Elementum); Jason Allen-Paisant; Eilean Ni Chuilleanain (photo © Bríd O’Donovan); Kit Fan.