The T. S. Eliot Prize 2016

2016 Judges


Ruth Padel (Chair)

Ruth Padel has published nine poetry collections, a novel, and eight books of non-fiction including two much-loved books on reading contemporary poetry, 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem and The Poem and the Journey. Four of her Chatto & Windus collections, Learning to Make an Oud in Nazareth, Rembrandt Would Have Loved You (both Poetry Book Society Choices), The Soho Leopard and Voodoo Shop (a Poetry Book Society Recommendation) have been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her mixed-genre book The Mara Crossing is a poems-and-prose exploration of migration and immigration; her Darwin – A Life in Poems is a much-acclaimed biography in verse of Charles Darwin, her great-great-grand-father. She has won the National Poetry Competition, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and teaches poetry at King’s College London.


Julia Copus

Julia Copus was born in London, near the Young Vic theatre, and now lives in Somerset. All three of her collections were Poetry Book Society Recommendations, and the most recent of them, The World’s Two Smallest Humans (Faber), was shortlisted for both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Poetry Award. She has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2010). Julia Copus also writes for radio: a sequence of poems for radio, entitled Ghost Lines, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in December 2011 and shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Her first play, Eenie Meenie Macka Racka, was awarded the BBC’s Alfred Bradley prize. She is the author of three children’s books, also published by Faber.


Alan Gillis

Alan Gillis is from Belfast and now lives in Scotland, where he teaches English at The University of Edinburgh. He has published four poetry collections with The Gallery Press: Scapegoat (2014), Here Comes the Night (2010), Hawks and Doves (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere (2004), which won the Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. He has also been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize, and for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. In 2014 he was selected as a ‘Next Generation Poet’ by the Poetry Book Society. As a critic he is author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (2005), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), both published by Oxford University Press. From 2010-2015 he was editor of Edinburgh Review.