The T. S. Eliot Prize 2020

This Year's Judges


Lavinia Greenlaw (Chair)

Lavinia Greenlaw was born and lives in London. She has published six collections of poetry with Faber & Faber, including The Casual Perfect (2011), Minsk (2003), which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot, Forward and Whitbread Poetry Prizes, and The Built Moment (2019). Her novels include Mary George of Allnorthover, which won the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger, and In the City of Love’s Sleep. She has also published two non-fiction works: The Importance of Music to Girls and Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland, and is writing a book about seeing and not seeing further. Her sound work, Audio Obscura, was commissioned by Artangel and Manchester International Festival, and won the 2011 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway.

photo credit Isaac Hargreaves


Mona Arshi

Mona Arshi was born in West London to Punjabi parents. She worked as a human rights lawyer at Liberty before she started writing poetry. Her debut collection Small Hands won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2015. Her second collection Dear Big Gods was published in April 2019 (both books were published by Liverpool University Press’s Pavilion Poetry list). She won the inaugural Magma Poetry competition in 2011, was joint winner in 2014 of the Manchester Poetry Prize and a prizewinner of the Troubadour Poetry Prize. Her poems and interviews have been published in The Times, The Guardian, Granta and The Times of India as well as on the London Underground. She has recently been appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Liverpool.

photo credit Amanda Pepper Photography


Andrew McMillan

Andrew McMillan lives in Manchester. His debut collection physical (Cape 2016) was the only poetry collection ever to have won the Guardian First Book Award. It also won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award, an Eric Gregory Award and a Northern Writers’ award. It was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Most recently physical has been translated into Norwegian and Galician, and came out in a bi-lingual French edition. His second collection, playtime (Cape 2018), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, Poetry Book of the Month in both the Observer and the Telegraph, a Poetry Book of the Year in the Sunday Times and won the inaugural Polari Prize. He is senior lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at MMU.

photo credit Urszula Soltys