T. S. Eliot Prize 2020


Judges Lavinia Greenlaw (Chair), Mona Arshi and Andrew McMillan have chosen the 2020 T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist from 153 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers.

The shortlist comprises work from five men and five women; two Americans; as well as poets of Native American, Chinese Indonesian and British, Indian and mixed race ancestry. Nine publishers are represented, more than for many years, with five titles from new or recently-established presses. There are three debut collections.

Natalie Diaz – Postcolonial Love Poem (Faber & Faber)

Sasha Dugdale – Deformations (Carcanet Press)

Ella Frears – Shine, Darling (Offord Road Books)

Will Harris – RENDANG (Granta Poetry)

Wayne Holloway Smith – Love Minus Love (Bloodaxe Books)

Bhanu Kapil – How to Wash a Heart (Pavilion Poetry)

Daisy Lafarge – Life Without Air (Granta Poetry)

Glyn Maxwell – How the hell are you (Picador Poetry)

Shane McCrae – Sometimes I Never Suffered (Corsair Poetry)

J O Morgan – The Martian’s Regress (Cape Poetry)



For more information on the shortlisted poets, see our shortlist page

Lavinia Greenlaw said:

‘My fellow judges, Mona Arshi, Andrew McMillan and I have been reading books written in a different world, the one before Covid-19. The urgency and vitality of the ten books on this shortlist commanded our attention nonetheless. We were unsettled, captivated and compelled. Poetry is the most resilient, potent, capacious and universal art we have.’

An announcement will follow about the The T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings and The T S Eliot Prize Award Ceremony.

The T. S. Eliot Prize is run by The T. S. Eliot Foundation. The T. S. Eliot Prize 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 2020 judging panel are looking for the best new poetry collection written in English and published in 2020.

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. Click here to subscribe.

Last year’s winner was Roger Robinson’s A Portable Paradise and the judges were John Burnside (chair), Sarah Howe and Nick Makoha.