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Here’s the shortlist for the 2020 T. S. Eliot Prize.

Rasheeda Saka

October 15, 2020, 11:01am

Today, the T. S. Eliot Prize, one of the UK’s most prestigious poetry honors, announced its 2020 shortlist. The award, inaugurated in 1993, recognizes the best poetry collection of the year and comes with a £25,000 purse; each of the nine runners-up receive £1500. Previous winners include Ocean Vuong, Seamus Heaney, and Alice Oswald.

According to the press release, the shortlist includes titles from five men and five women; two Americans; as well as poets of Native American, Chinese Indonesian and British, Indian and mixed race ancestry. Nine publishers are represented, with five titles from recently-established presses. There are three debut titles.

“When the pandemic hit, certain concerns of ours began to seem rather trivial,” said Lavinia Greenlaw, the chair of judges. “We had to be convinced by them as relevant in a profoundly changed world, which meant that we had to be able to connect with them at the level of essential human experience, which is where I believe poetry is really produced, and poetry is really received.”

With poets Mona Arshi and Andrew McMillan, Greenlaw read 153 collections submitted by British and Irish publishers to make this year’s shortlist.

The award ceremony will be announced at a later date here. Congrats to all!


The 2020 TS Eliot Prize Shortlist

Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem

Sasha Dugdale, Deformations 

Ella Frears, Shine, Darling

Will Harris, RENDANG

Wayne Holloway-Smith, Love Minus Love

Bhanu Kapil, How to Wash a Heart

Daisy Lafarge, Life Without Air

Glyn Maxwell, How the Hell Are You

Shane McCrae, Sometimes I Never Suffered

JO Morgan, The Martian’s Regress

[h/t The Guardian]

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