Tuesday, January 19, 2010

T S Eliot Prizewinner

Philip Gross was named winner of the 2009 TS Eliot prize at a ceremony in London last evening, beating competition from his better-known peers such as Alice Oswald, Sharon Olds and Christopher Reid. Guardian report here.

Gross, professor of creative writing at the University of Glamorgan, won the prize for The Water Table described as detailed and lyrical meditations on the ever-changing waters of the Severn estuary. You can hear him read some of his poems on this BBC page including his Fantasia on a Theme from IKEA.

Simon Armitage, who chaired the panel of three poets said The Water Table stood out because it was not merely a collection of poems but also "so obviously a book".

The biggest surprise of the shortlist was the absence of Don Paterson's collection Rain which took the 2009 Forward prize for best collection, a work which the judges said showed the Scottish poet's "total mastery of his art". Paterson, 45, beat a line-up of acclaimed poets, including Sharon Olds who was also on the T S Eliot shortlist, to win the £10,000 award. It just goes to show people's taste and judgement differ.

Completely different set of judges of course. For the Forward Prize Josephine Hart, writer and producer, chaired the panel consisting of poet and librettist David Harsent, poets Jean Sprackland and Tishani Doshi, and Guardian journalist Nicholas Wroe. The T S Eliot judges were all poets, Simon Armitage, Colette Bryce and Penelope Shuttle.

1 comment:

BarbaraS said...

Just shows you, different strokes for different folks. I'm intrigued though, and want to read it for myself. I'll also be checking out Sinead Morrissey's new book too, very soon. She's very good - even if I am biased because I had the pleasure of attending her workshops at Queen's...