Former PBS director Holifield to run T S Eliot Prize

Former PBS director Holifield to run T S Eliot Prize

Former Poetry Book Society director, Chris Holifield, has been appointed by the T S Eliot Foundation to the role of director of the T S Eliot Prize.

The most notable change to the running of the T S Eliott Prize, since handing over to the T S Eliot Foundation, is that "choices from the PBS" will no longer feature automatically on the shortlist as they did previously.

PBS established the prize in 1993 and ran it for 23 years until recent financial difficulties, stemming from cuts to government arts funding, which saw the PBS corporate entity go into liquidation. The PBS's activities have since been taken up by not-for-profit Inpress, a company that provides marketing and distribution services for independent publishers, while the prize is now managed and solely supported by the T S Eliot Foundation. 

In addition to Holifield's appointment, the prize's judges - due to meet in October to decide the total 10-strong shortlist - are announced today as writer Ruth Padel in the role of chair of the judges, alongside judges poets Julia Copus and Allan Gillis.

The winning poet will receive a cheque for £20,000 and each of the shortlisted poets will receive £1,500 in January 2017.

The T S Eliot Prize shortlist readings, also the UK's largest poetry event, will take place on Sunday 15th January 2017 in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. The winner of the 2016 Prize will be announced the following day (16th January 2017), when the winning and the shortlisted poets will be presented with their cheques.

Last year’s winner was Sarah Howe for her collection Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus), as judged by chair of the judges Pascale Petit, Kei Miller and Ahren Warner.