Olds, Anaxagorou, Bernard on T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Olds, Anaxagorou, Bernard on T S Eliot Prize shortlist

Previous winner Sharon Olds is up against debut poets Anthony Anaxagorou and Jay Bernard on the 10-strong shortlist for the £25,000 T S Eliot Prize.

Cape Poetry and Picador have two nominations each: Cape received nominations for Vertigo & Ghost by Fiona Benson and Arias by Sharon Olds, who won the T S Eliot Prize in 2013, while Picador is shortlisted for The Caiplie Caves by Canadian Karen Solie and The Mizzy by Paul Farley.

The 2019 shortlist also includes debuts from British-born Cypriot Anthony Anaxagorou for After The Formalities from indie publisher Penned in the Margins and non-binary poet Jay Bernard for their collection Surge (Chatto & Windus), which won last year's Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. 

Vidyan Ravinthiran receives a spot on the shortlist for his second collection The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here (Bloodaxe), a book of sonnets to his wife, and writer and performer Roger Robinson is shortlisted for A Portable Paradise (Peepal Tree Press). The list is completed by Deryn Rees-Jones for Erato (Seren), a book named after the Greek god of lyric poetry, and Ukraine-born Ilya Kaminsky for Deaf Republic (Faber & Faber).

Judging chair John Burnside said: “In an excellent year for poetry, the judges read over 150 collections from every corner of these islands, and beyond. As our deliberations progressed, the same titles kept coming to the fore, culminating in a list that brings together work by some of the finest and most fearless poets working today.”

Burnside and fellow judges Sarah Howe and Nick Makoha will select the winner who will be announced in January 2020. Last year’s winner was Hannah Sullivan’s Three Poems (Faber).