New sponsor backs T S Eliot prize

New sponsor backs T S Eliot prize

The Poetry Book Society has obtained three-year sponsorship for the prestigious T S Eliot Prize from private investment management firm Aurum Funds.

There had been concern for the prize, which goes to new collections of poetry in English and was established by Sir Stephen Spender, after Arts Council England announced last spring that its funding for the PBS would end from April 2012.

Aurum Funds is understood to be donating a substantial sum to support the management of the prize, with T S Eliot's widow Valerie Eliot and the T S Eliot estate continuing to provide the prize money itself. The winner receives £15,000 and each shortlisted poet wins £1,000.

The shortlist for this year's prize is also announced today. There are four Faber collections on the 10-strong list: David Harsent's Night; Daljit Nagra's Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!!; Bernard O'Donoghue's Farmer's Cross; and Alice Oswald's Memorial.

Picador has three titles: Carol Ann Duffy's The Bees; John Kinsella's Armour; and Sean O'Brien's November. Jonathan Cape has John Burnside's Black Cat Bone and Leontia Flynn's Profit and Loss.

Esther Morgan's Grace, published by Bloodaxe, completes the shortlist.

The judges are Gillian Clarke, Stephen Knight and Dennis O'Driscoll and the winner will be announced in January.