November 4, 2013

T. S. Eliot Prize shortlist announced


T.S. Eliot

On October 23, the T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize shortlist was released, after being culled from a longlist of 113 publisher-submitted collections of poetry. Chair of judges Ian Duhig remarked that, though it is an honor to chair the prize, he found it “a nightmare to shortlist from so many fantastic books.” He will be helped by judges Vicki Feaver and Imtiaz Dharker in choosing the prize’s recipient.

Because most news coverage of the shortlist tells us little about the nominees or their works, here’s a crash course in the ten poets and their nominated books:

I can’t help but root for Anne Carson, “a poet who is improbably famous but very deservedly beloved,” as Emily M. Keeler wrote for Hazlitt. I think it has much to do with seeing Carson read for the Drawn from Hopper exhibit at the Whitney in June, where, before the reading, a friend and I watched her husband sit, with hammy gestures and obvious love, on her lap.

The winner of the 2013 T. S. Eliot prize will be announced on January 13, 2014, and will receive £15,000 for the honor. Last year’s winner, Sharon Olds for Stag’s Leap, marked the first female American to win the traditionally British prize.


Emma Aylor is a former Melville House intern.