Picador poets dominate TS Eliot Prize shortlist

Picador poets dominate TS Eliot Prize shortlist

Half of the authors shortlisted for the 2016 T S Eliot Prize are published by Picador. 

The Pan Macmillan imprint, who had just one author up for last year's prize at this stage, has five authors on the 10-strong shortlist. They are Rachael Boast, for Void Studies; two-time winner of the National Poetry Competition Ian Duhig, for The Blind Road-Maker; Jacob Polley, twice shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize twice in 2003 and 2012, for Jackself; Denise Riley, for Say Something Back; and Katharine Towers, for The Remedies.

Cape Poetry has two authors on the shortlist - J O Morgan for Interference Pattern and Alice Oswald, who won the T S Eliot Prize in 2002, for Falling Awake. Carcanet, Faber and Liverpool University Press making up the numbers with one author apiece: Vahni Capildeo for Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet), Bernard O’Donoghue for The Seasons of Cullen Church (Faber) and Ruby Robinson for Every Little Sound (Liverpool University Press).

Don Paterson, poetry editor at Picador, commented: "I'm obviously thrilled - and almost embarrassed - to see so many Picador titles on the shortlist, but we've had an exceptionally rich year that saw many of our poets delivering some of their finest work to date, and I'm delighted for every one of them."

Chair Ruth Padel remarked small presses had submitted some "outstanding books" but more than they were able to accomodate on the shortlist.

“We were blown away by the brilliance and freshness of the entries, and applaud the contribution of new and independent poetry publishers," said Padel. "We were looking for musicality, originality, energy and craft, and we believe the shortlist reflects this in a wonderful range of important and lasting voices. There were many more outstanding books from small presses than we were able to accommodate in our final shortlist: it is clear that such publishers are radically altering the landscape of contemporary poetry.”

2016 is the first year the prize has been administered by The T S Eliot Foundation, which took over the running of the T S Eliot Prize following the closing of the Poetry Book Society, the charity which established the Prize in 1993 and ran it for 23 years, in June.

The Bookseller revealed on National Poetry Day this month the poetry market sold over a million books last year at an all-time high of £8.8m in value - a record it is on track to surpass this year with the category up 15% in value for the year to date.