The T. S. Eliot Prize 2020



Natalie Diaz

Postcolonial Love Poem / Faber & Faber

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, won an American Book Award. She is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, as well as a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded the Holmes National Poetry Prize and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. Diaz teaches at the Arizona State University Creative Writing MFA program.


Sasha Dugdale

Deformations / Carcanet Press

Sasha Dugdale was born in Sussex and lives in Cambridge. She has published five collections of poems with Carcanet, Notebook (2003), The Estate (2007), Red House (2011), Joy (2017) and Deformations (2020). She won the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. She specialises in translating contemporary Russian women poets and post-Soviet new writing for theatre. In 2020, she won an English PEN Translate Award for her translation of a collection of poetry by the Russian poet Maria Stepanova. From 2012 to 2017 Dugdale was the editor of Modern Poetry in Translation. She is co-director of the biennial Winchester Poetry Festival and poet-in-residence at St John’s College, Cambridge.


Ella Frears

Shine Darling / Offord Road Books

Ella Frears is a poet and visual artist based in London. Her pamphlet, Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity was published by Goldsmiths Press. Her debut collection Shine, Darling (Offord Road Books, 2020) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation and is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She has had poems in the LRB, Poetry London, Ambit, and The Rialto among others and was a finalist for the Arts Foundation Fellowship in Poetry. She’s completed residencies for the National Trust, Tate Britain, K6 Gallery and Royal Holloway University. Her collaborative installation The Six Pillars of Modernism, was exhibited at Tate St Ives.

Photo © Etienne Gilfillan


Will Harris

RENDANG / Granta Poetry

Will Harris is a writer of Chinese Indonesian and British heritage, born and based in London. His poetry pamphlet, All this is implied (HappenStance 2017), was joint winner of the London Review Bookshop Pamphlet of the Year and shortlisted for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. His poems were published in the Bloodaxe anthology Ten: Poets of the New Generation. His poems and essays have been published in the TLSGrantathe Guardian, and the London Review of Books. His debut poetry collection RENDANG (UK: Granta; US: Wesleyan University Press) is a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2020.

Photo © Etienne Gilfillan


Wayne Holloway-Smith

Love Minus Love / Bloodaxe Books

Wayne Holloway-Smith was born in Wiltshire and lives in London. His first book-length collection, Alarum (Bloodaxe Books, 2017) was a Poetry Book Society Wildcard Choice and was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Full Collection. The final poem, ‘Short’, won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2016. His second collection was I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE WENDING, (Test Centre Publications 2018). He won the National Poetry Competition 2018 for ‘the posh mums are boxing in the square’ from his second book-length book of poetry, Love Minus Love (Bloodaxe Books, 2020), also a Poetry Book Society Wild Card Choice.

Photo © Mark Sherratt


Bhanu Kapil

How to Wash a Heart / Pavilion Poetry

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), which was a Poetry Book Society Choice.


Daisy Lafarge

Life Without Air / Granta Poetry

Daisy Lafarge was born in Hastings and studied at the University of Edinburgh. She has published two pamphlets: understudies for air (Sad Press, 2017) and capriccio (SPAM Press, 2019), and her visual work has been exhibited in galleries such as Tate St Ives and Talbot Rice Gallery. She has received an Eric Gregory Award and a Betty Trask Award, and was runner-up in the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. Her debut novel, Paul, is forthcoming from Granta Books. Life Without Air is her first collection of poetry.

Photo © Sophie Davidson


Glyn Maxwell

How the hell are you / Picador Poetry

Glyn Maxwell was born in England to Welsh parents and now lives in London. He has won several awards for his many poetry collections, including the Somerset Maugham Prize, the E. M. Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His work has been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize (three times), Forward and Whitbread Prizes. His collections include Pluto (2013); One Thousand Nights and Counting: Selected Poems (2011); Hide Now (2008); and The Nerve (2002). Many of his plays have been staged in the UK and USA, He recently published On Poetry, a general reader’s guide to the craft.



Shane McCrae

Sometimes I Never Suffered / Corsair Poetry

Shane McCrae grew up in Texas and California and lives in New York City. He is the author of seven books of poetry, including Sometimes I Never Suffered (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020); In the Language of My Captor (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and The Animal Too Big to Kill (Persea Books, 2015), winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He teaches at Columbia University.




J O Morgan

The Martian's Regress / Cape Poetry

J O Morgan lives on a small farm in the Scottish Borders. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, each a single book-length poem. His first book, Natural Mechanical (2009), won the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize; its sequel, Long Cuts (2012), was shortlisted for a Scottish Book Award. His third book from C B Editions was At Maldon. In 2015, Morgan published In Casting Off (HappenStance Press). Interference Pattern (Cape 2016) was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and Assurances (Cape 2018) won the Costa Poetry Award.