Five debut collections on T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Five debut collections on T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Debut collections by poets Zaffar Kunial, Fiona Moore, Phoebe Power, RIchard Scott and Hannah Sullivan all feature on the shortlist for this year's T S Eliot Prize (£25,000). Also up for the award is Tracy K Smith, the US poet laureate.

Faber is the strongest publisher on the 10-strong shortlist, publishing four of the prize candidates.

The full shortlist comprises: Ailbhe Darcy's Insistence (Bloodaxe), Terrance Hayes' American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassins (Penguin), Zaffar Kunial's Us (Faber), Nick Laird's Feel Free (Faber), Fiona Moore's The Distal Point (Happenstance), Sean O'Brien's Europa (Picador), Phoebe Power's Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet), Richard Scott's Soho (Faber), Tracy K Smith's Wade in the Water (Penguin) and Hannah Sullivan's Three Poems (Faber).
 
The prize received a record 176 applications this year.
 
Chair of the judges Sinead Morrissey commented: "Poetry is a flourishing art form. We read 176 collections from a plethora of poetry publishers, both new and established, and felt privileged to listen in to such a lively, diverse and urgent conversation.  With difficulty we chose our 10 brilliant poetry books of the year – many of them debut collections. Together they offer an invigorated language, confident mastery of form, and fresh, sophisticated perspectives on our uncertain times."

The T S Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings - described as the largest annual poetry event in the UK - will take place on Sunday 13th January 2019 in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall as part of its literature programme.

The prize winner will be announced on 14th January.

Also judging this year's award are Daljit Nagra and Clare Pollard.

The T S Eliot Prize, run by the T S Eliot Foundation, is the most valuable prize in British poetry, with the winning poet receiving a cheque for £25,000 and the shortlisted poets each receiving £1,500. It is the only poetry prize which is judged purely by established poets.

Last year’s winner was Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Jonathan Cape).