Wednesday, 23 November 2005

T.S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Announcement

The T.S. Review is pleased to share this announcement with you, below.

I am glad to see so many of the excellent poets who have supported the Oxfam Poetry Series in London over the last few years, by donating their readings, featured on this year's list, such as Polly Clark, Pascale Petit, John Stammers, Sinead Morrissey and David Harsent.

It is also interesting to see the shortlisted poets so evenly spread among the major publishing presses.

It seems a particularly strong list, though, the judges have chosen to not represent any writing by either more experimental UK poets, or those who work in the margins of performance based poetries. It represents the main stream of current British poetry, in its more lucid, lyric, form.

There is a neo-classical tendency at the moment, in the UK,which worships form, wit and order at the expense of the less-controlled aspects of imagination, content and vernacular insight - the diction of the margins, be they multicultural, multimedia, or multilingual.

That's a pity, since it would be good to have a rapprochement between various schools, or views, of poetry, in order to achieve more of a balance in the flow of the poetic tradition in Britain - at the moment, the canon has become skewed by various poetics, who cannot seem to find a common ground for their heterogenous tenors and vehicles. Surely, the ground for all poets is language?

George Szirtes gave his T.S. Eliot lecture last evening, which I was unable to attend, lecturing myself elsewhere, but I look forward to reading the full essay at some point. His theme, the figure of the skater, seems to tease out just such concerns as I voiced above.

T S Eliot Prize Shortlist Announcement

The Poetry Book Society is pleased to announce the Shortlist for the T S Eliot Prize 2005, to be awarded to the writer of the best new collection of poetry published in 2005.

Now in its thirteenth year, the T S Eliot Prize is 'poetry's most coveted award' (Jane Wheatley, The Times). Judges David Constantine (Chair), Kate Clanchy and Jane Draycott chose the following ten collections:

Polly Clark, Take Me with You, Bloodaxe

Carol Ann Duffy, Rapture, Picador

Helen Farish, Intimates, Cape

David Harsent, Legion, Faber

Sinead Morrissey, The State of the Prisons, Carcanet

Alice Oswald, Woods etc., Faber

Pascale Petit, The Huntress, Seren

Sheenagh Pugh, The Movement of Bodies, Seren

John Stammers, Stolen Love Behaviour, Picador

Gerard Woodward, We Were Pedestrians, Chatto


The judges will make their final decision on Monday 16 January 2006, when the prize of £10,000 will be presented by Mrs Valerie Eliot at an award ceremony in London.
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