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(Credit: Darwin Vegher)


TS Eliot prize unveils shortlist for 2021 poetry award


The TS Eliot prize for emerging contemporary poetry has unveiled this year’s shortlist looking at ten competitors who represent the voice of the moment. With more people than ever turning to more introspective forms of expression over the course of the pandemic, the swathe of great poetry is more profuse and vitalised than ever.

The TS Eliot prize announced that “ten books that sound clear and compelling voices of the moment” are in the running for a £25,000 cash prize. 

Judge Glyn Maxwell remarked: “Poetry styles are as disparate as we’ve ever known them, and the wider world as threatened and bewildered as any of us can remember.

Adding: “These are the 10 voices we think should enter the stage and be heard in the spotlight, changing the story.”

The judges whittled down 177 publishers submitted contenders down to just ten collections with no previous winners of the award in contention this year, although Michael Symmons Roberts and Selima Hill have both been nominated in the past. 

Last year, Bhanu Kapil took home the award for the collection How to Wash a Heart. This year’s winner will be unveiled in January.

The shortlisted collections for 2021:

All the Names Given by Raymond Antrobus (Picador)
A Blood Condition by Kayo Chingonyi (Chatto & Windus)
Men Who Feed Pigeons by Selima Hill (Bloodaxe)
Eat or We Both Starve by Victoria Kennefick (Carcanet)
The Kids by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe)
Ransom by Michael Symmons Roberts (Cape Poetry)
single window by Daniel Sluman (Nine Arches Press)
C+nto & Othered Poems by Joelle Taylor (The Westbourne Press)
A Year in the New Life by Jack Underwood (Faber)
Stones by Kevin Young (Cape Poetry)