Judges Jean Sprackland (Chair), Hannah Lowe and Roger Robinson have chosen the 2022 T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist from a record 201 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers. The eclectic list comprises seasoned poets, including one previous winner, and five debut collections.
Victoria Adukwei Bulley – Quiet* (Faber & Faber)
Fiona Benson – Ephemeron (Cape Poetry)
Jemma Borg– Wilder (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press)
Philip Gross – The Thirteenth Angel (Bloodaxe Books)
Anthony Joseph – Sonnets for Albert (Bloomsbury Poetry)
Zaffar Kunial– England’s Green (Faber & Faber)
Mark Pajak– Slide* (Cape Poetry)
James Conor Patterson– bandit country* (Picador Poetry)
Denise Saul– The Room Between Us* (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press)
Yomi Ṣode– Manorism* (Penguin Poetry)
Jean Sprackland said:
‘What a joy it’s been for the three of us to have such deep immersion in new poetry,’ Jean Sprackland said. ‘There were a record-breaking 201 entries this year; a reminder that far from being silenced by crisis poets rise to meet it through language.
‘The ten shortlisted books are unflinching in their explorations of love and grief, brutality and desire. They are alive with insects and angels, psychedelic plants and deep-sea fish; and haunted by the ghosts of Caravaggio and Daniel O’Connell. The English of these books is supple and shapeshifting, inflected with Yoruba, Newry street dialect, and the rhythms of Caribbean speech. These are books that thrilled, surprised, and struck us to the heart.’
The T. S. Eliot Prize 2022 Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 15 January 2023 at 7pm in the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall as part of its literature programme, and will be hosted by Ian McMillan. This is the largest annual poetry event in the UK. Tickets for the Readings (which are British Sign Language interpreted) and the simultaneously streamed event are now available online from the Southbank Centre box office or phone 020 3879 9555.
The winner of the 2022 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 16 January 2023, when the winner and the shortlisted poets will be presented with their cheques.
The T. S. Eliot Prize 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.
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 Joelle Taylor for her collection C+nto & Othered Poems (The Westbourne Press); the judges were Glyn Maxwell (Chair), Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial.
Image credits (top, l to r): Mark Pajak (photo: Robert Peet); Fiona Benson (photo: Jessica Farmer); Yomi Ṣode (photo: Jolade Olusanya); James Conor Patterson (photo: Aimée Walsh); Victoria Adukwei Bulley (photo: Timothy Pulford-Cutting); (below, l to r): Denise Saul (photo: Karolina Heller); Philip Gross (photo: Stephen Morris); Zaffar Kunial; Jemma Borg (photo: Charlotte Knee); Anthony Joseph (photo: Naomi Woddis)