Cape Poetry and Bloodaxe dominate T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Cape Poetry and Bloodaxe dominate T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Cape Poetry and Bloodaxe dominate this year's T S Eliot Prize shortlist, with two picks for each of the publishers.

The £25,000 prize is the most valuable in British poetry and has received a record 177 submissions this year. 

This year's 10-strong shortlist consists of an eclectic mixture of established poets, none of whom has previously won the prize, and relative newcomers. There is one debut collection among the nominations, Victoria Kennefick's Eat Or We Both Starve (Carcanet).

Cape's two titles are Michael Symmons Roberts' Ransom and Kevin Young's Stones, while Bloodaxe has Selima Hill's Men Who Feed Pigeons and Hannah Lowe's The Kids

The list also features Raymond Antrobus' All the Names Given (Picador), Kayo Chingonyi's A Blood Condition (Chatto & Windus), Daniel Sluman's single window (Nine Arches Press), Joelle Taylor's C+nto & Othered Poems (Westbourne Press), and Jack Underwood's A Year in the New Life (Faber).

Chair of judges Glyn Maxwell announced the shortlist at an event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. He said: "We are delighted with our shortlist, while lamenting all the fine work we had to set aside. Poetry styles are as disparate as we’ve ever known them, and the wider world as threatened and bewildered as any of us can remember. Out of this we have chosen 10 books that sound clear and compelling voices of the moment. Older and younger, wiser and wilder, well-known and lesser-known, these are the 10 voices we think should enter the stage and be heard in the spotlight, changing the story."

The winner will be announced on 10th January 2022, where the prize-winner and the shortlisted poets will be presented with their cheques. All shortlisted authors receive £1,500.

Last year’s winner was Bhanu Kapil’s How to Wash a Heart (Pavilion Poetry).