T. S. Eliot Prize News



Jason Allen-Paisant, winner, T. S. Eliot Prize 2023. Photo © Adrian Pope for the T. S. Eliot Prize

The T. S. Eliot Foundation is delighted to announce the winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize 2023 is Jason Allen-Paisant for his second collection Self-Portrait as Othello, published by Carcanet Press.

The judges Paul Muldoon (Chair), Sasha Dugdale and Denise Saul said:

Self-Portrait as Othello is a book with large ambitions that are met with great imaginative capacity, freshness and technical flair. As the title would suggest, the poetry is delivered with theatricality and in a range of voices and registers, across geographies and eras. It takes real nerve to pull off a work like this with such style and integrity. We are confident that Self-Portrait as Othello is a book to which readers will return for many years.’

Judges Paul Muldoon (Chair), Sasha Dugdale and Denise Saul chose the T. S. Eliot Prize 2023 Shortlist 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 is a Jamaican writer and academic who works as a senior lecturer in Critical Theory and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. He’s the author of two poetry collections, Thinking with Trees (Carcanet Press, 2021), winner of the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for poetry, and Self-Portrait as Othello (Carcanet Press, 2023), which won the Forward Prize for Best Collection. His non-fiction book, Scanning the Bush, will be published by Hutchinson Heinemann later this year. He lives in Leeds.

The judges announced Jason Allen-Paisant as the winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize 2023 on Monday 15 January, at the award ceremony held at the Wallace Collection, London. On Sunday 14 January the shortlisted poets read at the Royal Festival Hall, London; this is the largest annual poetry event in the UK. An audio version of the Readings will be available on the T. S. Eliot Prize YouTube channel shortly.

Jason Allen-Paisant will receive the winner’s prize money of £25,000. Each shortlisted poet will receive £1,500 in recognition of their achievement in winning a place on the most prestigious shortlist in UK poetry.

You can view videos of Jason reading from Self-Portrait as Othello and hear him talking about his work on the T. S. Eliot Prize YouTube channel.


When the T. S. Eliot Prize founded the Young Critics scheme with The Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network, the aim was to empower young critics, to offer a different critical viewpoint on the shortlisted collections, and to engage more young readers with the Prize.

Following a series of workshops led by The Poetry Society’s Cia Mangat, writer and reviewer Helen Bowell, and expert guest Jen Campbell, this year’s Young Critics – Evelyn Byrne, Daniel Clark, Oliver Cooney, Godelieve de Bree, Chloe Elliott, Leo Kang, Urussa Malik, Cal O’Reilly, Natalie Perman and Gabrielle Tse – have produced astonishingly engaging and insightful video reviews of the 2023 T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist. The videos combine both dazzling critiques and visuals, and are a brilliant way to deepen the reader’s experience and understanding of the collections.

The Poetry Society team and I hatched the Young Critics scheme to generate exciting new critiques of the T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist and to increase young readers’ interest in the Prize. We are delighted with this year’s astounding videos – incisive reviews, beautifully presented. Everyone who sees them will find fresh insights and new ways to connect with the collections. – Michael Sims, Director, T. S. Eliot Prize

Look out for the video reviews, which will be posted on the T. S. Eliot Prize YouTube channel in two batches over the next fortnight. In tandem with The Poetry Society, the videos will also be widely promoted across social media. The Young Critics receive copies of all the books on this year’s Shortlist and are invited to attend the T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 14 January 2024.

You can also watch the stunning videos created by the 2022 cohort – Aliyah Begum, Eric Yip, Holly Moberly, Noah Jacob, SZ Shao, Lily McDermott, Mukisa Verrall, Davina Bacon and Ruth Awolola – on the T. S. Eliot Prize YouTube channel.


We asked members of the Southbank Centre’s New Poets Collectives if they would help us mark the 30th anniversary of the T. S. Eliot Prize. Over recent weeks, members of the Collectives have been making video recordings of readings from the winning collections of the past three decades. Recorded indoors and out, the videos make a place for Eliot Prize-winning poetry everywhere. You can view the recordings of all of the readings to date on the T.S. Eliot Prize YouTube channel and find them on our social media postings, too. We will continue to expand the set in the coming weeks.

The T. S. Eliot Prize celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023. Awarded annually to the best new poetry collection published in the UK and Ireland, the Prize was founded by the Poetry Book Society in 1993 to celebrate the PBS’s 40th birthday and to honour its founding poet. It has been run by The T. S. Eliot Foundation since 2016. You can read articles by many past winners in our online news section, as well as a short history by Chris Holifield, former Director.

The Southbank Centre’s New Poets Collective programme, supported by the T. S. Eliot Foundation and centred around the National Poetry Library, helps a group of up to fifteen poets hone their skills and expand their knowledge and confidence. Lead tutors Vanessa Kisuule and Will Harris and special guest poets lead monthly in-person sessions for the collective. The programme culminates with presentations at the London Literature Festival and a zine. It also includes industry insight sessions designed to provide tools for this group of emerging poets to build their writing careers in the years ahead.