T S Eliot Prize 2022 shortlist announced, debut poets dominate

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A shortlist of 10 poetry collections was announced by a jury for this year’s T S Eliot Prize shortlist recently. The 10 shortlisted books were selected from 201 entries that were submitted by British and Irish publishers.

The T S Eliot Prize is a valuable annual prize in British poetry, which iis given to “the best new poetry collection written in English and published in the UK or Ireland”. This year’s judges for the T S Eliot Prize are: Jean Sprackland (Chair), Hannah Lowe, and Roger Robinson.

The 10 poets shortlisted for T S Eliot Prize 2022 are:

Victoria Adukwei Bulley for ‘Quiet’ (Faber & Faber)
Fiona Benson for ‘Ephemeron’ (Cape Poetry)

Jemma Borg for ‘Wilder’ (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press)

Philip Gross for ‘The Thirteenth Angel’ (Bloodaxe Books)

Anthony Joseph for ‘Sonnets for Albert’ (Bloomsbury Poetry)

Zaffar Kunial for ‘England’s Green’ (Faber & Faber)

Mark Pajak for ‘Slide’ (Cape Poetry)

James Conor Patterson for ‘bandit country; (Picador Poetry)

Denise Saul for ‘The Room Between Us’ (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press)

Yomi Ṣode for ‘Manorism’ (Penguin Poetry)

It is interesting to note that five out of the 10 shortlisted poets are by debutants this year, namely- Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Mark Pajak, James Conor Patterson, Denise Saul, and Yomi Ṣode. Also shortlisted is poet Philip Gross, a previous winner of the prize.

‘What a joy it’s been for the three of us to have such deep immersion in new poetry. There were a record-breaking 201 entries this year; a reminder that far from being silenced by crisis poets rise to meet it through language…The ten shortlisted books are unflinching in their explorations of love and grief, brutality and desire. They are alive with insects and angels, psychedelic plants and deep-sea fish; and haunted by the ghosts of Caravaggio and Daniel O’Connell. The English of these books is supple and shapeshifting, inflected with Yoruba, Newry street dialect, and the rhythms of Caribbean speech. These are books that thrilled, surprised, and struck us to the heart,” Jean Sprackland, Chair of Judges- TS Eliot Prize 2022, said in a statement.

The winner of the TS Eliot Prize 2022 will be announced at an award ceremony on January 16, 2023. While the winner will receive a cheque for £25,000, each shortlisted poets will be awarded £1,500 each.

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