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2021 T. S. ELIOT PRIZE SHORTLIST CELEBRATES ‘TEN BOOKS THAT SOUND CLEAR AND COMPELLING VOICES OF THE MOMENT’

Judges Glyn Maxwell (Chair), Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial have chosen the 2021 T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist from a record 177 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers.

The shortlist consists of an eclectic mixture of established poets, none of whom has previously won the Prize, and relative newcomers. The list comprises one debut collection; work from six men and four women; one American; one poet from Ireland; as well as poets of Zambian and mixed-race ancestry, including Jamaican-British and Jamaican-Chinese.

Raymond Antrobus             All the Names Given            Picador
Kayo Chingonyi                    A Blood Condition                Chatto & Windus
Selima Hill                             Men Who Feed Pigeons     Bloodaxe
Victoria Kennefick               Eat Or We Both Starve       Carcanet
Hannah Lowe                       The Kids                                Bloodaxe
Michael Symmons Roberts    Ransom                                 Cape Poetry
Daniel Sluman                      single window                       Nine Arches Press
Joelle Taylor                          C+nto & Othered Poems    The Westbourne Press
Jack Underwood                  A Year in the New Life        Faber
Kevin Young                          Stones                                    Cape Poetry

Glyn Maxwell said:
‘We are delighted with our shortlist, while lamenting all the fine work we had to set aside. Poetry styles are as disparate as we’ve ever known them, and the wider world as threatened and bewildered as any of us can remember. Out of this we have chosen ten books that sound clear and compelling voices of the moment. Older and younger, wiser and wilder, well-known and lesser-known, these are the ten voices we think should enter the stage and be heard in the spotlight, changing the story.’

The T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 9th January 2022 in the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall as part of its literature programme. The shortlist readings are the largest annual poetry event in the UK and will be hosted once again by Ian McMillan. Tickets for the Readings in the Royal Festival and the simultaneously streamed event are now on sale from the box office: 0203 879 9555 (Open from 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday)
Website: www.southbankcentre.co.uk. For press tickets please email press@southbankcentre.co.uk.

The winner of the 2021 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 10th January 2022, where 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 2021 judging panel are looking for the best new poetry collection written in English and published in the UK or Ireland in 2021.

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. To subscribe go to: tseliot.com/prize/subscribe-to-the-t-s-eliot-prize-newsletter/.

For more information on this year’s shortlist, visit the T. S. Eliot Prize website at https://tseliot.com/prize/the-t-s-eliot-prize-2021/shortlist/

Last year’s winner was Bhanu Kapil’s How to Wash a Heart and the judges were Lavinia Greenlaw(chair), Mona Arshi and Andrew McMillan.

GLYN MAXWELL TO CHAIR 2021 T. S. ELIOT PRIZE JUDGING PANEL

The T. S. Eliot Foundation is delighted to announce the judges for the 2021 Prize. The panel will be chaired by Glyn Maxwell, alongside Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial.

The 2021 judging panel will be looking for the best new poetry collection written in English and published in 2021. The prize is unique in that entrants are judged by their peers; the panel always consists of established poets.

Glyn Maxwell said:

A prize named for T. S. Eliot already has a great responsibility to bear, for he is uniquely placed in the story of English-language poetry. Eliot was both a master of authoritative tradition and at the same time a daring adventurer at the leading edge of what poetry can be, how it can change as the world changes. What do the finest old poems and the most enthralling new poems have in common? They are unforgettable encounters. As Eliot implied, they enter the stream of tradition and may change its course. I am delighted and honoured to chair a panel featuring Caroline Bird and Zaffir Kunial, two of the finest young poets in the language now. We look forward to stepping out into the beautiful storm.

 The call for submissions will go out in late June, with the submission window closing at the end of July.

The 2021 T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 9 January 2022 at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. The shortlist readings are the largest annual poetry event in the UK.

The winner of the 2021 Prize will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Monday 10 January 2022. 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.

Last year’s winner was Bhanu Kapil’s How to Wash a Heart and the judges were Lavinia Greenlaw (chair), Mona Arshi and Andrew McMillan.

This year’s judges

T. S. ELIOT PRIZE GOES TO BHANU KAPIL’S “RADICAL AND ARRESTING” COLLECTION ‘HOW TO WASH A HEART’

The T. S. Eliot Foundation is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2020 T. S. Eliot Prize is Bhanu Kapil for How to Wash a Heart, published by Pavilion Poetry

Bhanu Kapil

 

 

 

 

 

Chair Lavinia Greenlaw said:

‘Our shortlist celebrated the ways in which poetry is responding to profound change, and the stylistic freedom that today’s poets have claimed. From this impressive field, we unanimously chose Bhanu Kapil’s How to Wash a Heart as our winner. It is a radical and arresting collection that recalibrates what it’s possible for poetry to achieve.’

After months of further reading, Judges Lavinia Greenlaw, Mona Arshi and Andrew McMillan chose the winner from a shortlist which included an exciting mixture of established poets and relative newcomers including three debut collections, work from two Americans, as well as poets of Native American, Chinese Indonesian and British, Indian and mixed race ancestry. Nine publishers were represented, more than for many years, with five titles from new or recently-established presses.

You can see more of Bhanu’s videos here, and listen to the Shortlist Readings here.

Bhanu Kapil was born in England to Indian parents, and she grew up in a South Asian, working-class community in London. She lives in the UK and US where she spent 21 years at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She is the author of six books of poetry/prose: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (Leon Works, 2006), humanimal  (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), Schizophrene (Nightboat, 2011), Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat, 2015) and How to Wash a Heart (Pavilion Poetry 2020), her first collection to be published in the UK, which was a Poetry Book Society Choice.

Pavilion Poetry is a new imprint of Liverpool University Press which was set up seven years ago: https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/series/series-12328/

Lavina Greenlaw announced that Bhanu Kapil was the winner of the 2020 T. S. Eliot Prize at the end of the T. S. Eliot Prize Readings streamed from the Southbank Centre on Sunday 24th January. All ten poets read to an international audience in a fantastic evening of poetry. The broadcast version will be available until 31 January from the Southbank Centre:  https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/literature-poetry/ts-eliot-prize?eventId=863500

Bhanu will receive the prize money of  £25,000 and each shortlisted poet will receive £1,500 in recognition of their achievement in winning a place on the most prestigious shortlist in UK poetry.

The T. S. Eliot Prize is run by The T. S. Eliot Foundation. It is the most valuable prize in British poetry and the only poetry prize which is judged purely by established poets. The 2020 judging panel was looking for the best new poetry collection written in English and published in 2020.

For more information on this year’s shortlist, including videos of the poets, new reviews and readers’ notes, and the Prize in general, please visit the T. S. Eliot Prize website.

The weekly T. S. Eliot Prize newsletter has provided essential background on the shortlisted poets, including links to specially-commissioned new videos, readers’ notes and reviews. To look at past newslettters or subscribe go to: tseliot.com/prize/subscribe-to-the-t-s-eliot-prize-newsletter/

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