Hosted by the inimitable Ian McMillan, the fabulous T. S. Eliot Prize Readings on 13 January will showcase the poets shortlisted for the 2018 T S Eliot Prize by the judges, Chair Sinéad Morrissey, Daljit Nagra and Clare Pollard.
All ten poets chosen by the judges have accepted the invitation to read, so we’re looking forward to a wonderful evenining of great poetry from Ailbhe Darcy, Terrance Hayes, Zaffar Kunial, Nick Laird, Fiona Moore, Sean O’Brien, Phoebe Power, Richard Scott, Tracy K. Smith and Hannah Sullivan. For the first time, the shortlist includes five debut collections in what has been described by the Guardian as an ‘intensely political’ list.
An exciting evening of poetry will offer the opportunity to hear some of the best contemporary poets in the English-speaking world reading from their own work, on the evening before the announcement of the winner of the most valuable prize in British poetry.
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Poem of the week this week comes from Arundhathi Subramaniam’s When God is a Traveller, published by Bloodaxe. When God is a Traveller was shortlisted for the 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize. You can hear Arundathi reading from her collection here.
‘Quick-fix Memos for Difficult Days’
clothes, pillows, books, letters
of the germs of need –
the need to have things mean
more than they do.
Trust only the words that begin
in the rain-shadow valley
of the mind.
for one lifetime
but know you still have unfinished business with both.
Poem of the week this week comes from Kevin Powers’ Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting, published by Sceptre. Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting was shortlisted for the 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize. You can hear a reading from his collection here.
‘Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting’
I tell her I love her like not killing
or ten minutes of sleep
beneath the low rooftop wall
on which my rifle rests.
I tell her in a letter that will stink,
when she opens it,
of bolt oil and burned powder
and the things it says.
I tell her how Private Bartle says, offhand,
that war is just us
making little pieces of metal
pass through each other.