Belfast Poet Laureate Sinead Morrissey wins TS Eliot Prize
Sinéad Morrissey has won the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry for her latest collection Parallax (Carcanet) which she wrote as an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Major Individual Award recipient in 2012.
The TS Eliot Prize is awarded by the Poetry Book Society and is worth £15,000 making it the UK’s most valuable annual poetry competition.
Announced at a ceremony last night in London (13th January) and chosen from a shortlist of 10, Sinead’s fifth collection explores the unsettling paradoxes of skewed or partial perspectives.
Welcoming the news, the Arts Council's Head of Literature & Drama, Damian Smyth, said: “Sinéad has been for 15 years an outstanding voice in contemporary poetry in English and we are delighted that, once again, her work is being recognised at the highest levels. Four of her poetry collections have to date been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize – including Parallax – so it is extremely rewarding to see her hard work and literary brilliance recognised.
The TS Eliot Prize has been won in recent years by many great Irish poets, including Seamus Heaney in 2006, so Sinéad is keeping good company.’
British poet Ian Duhig, chair of the final judging panel, said; “In a year of brilliantly themed collections, the judges were unanimous in choosing Sinéad Morrissey’s Parallax as the winner. Politically, historically and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, her book is as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests.”
Considered by many to be the top English language poetry award, previous Irish winners of the TS Eliot prize have included Seamus Heaney (2006), Michael Longley (2000), Paul Muldoon (1994) and Ciaran Carson (1993).
In claiming the prize, Sinead beat off strong competition from two previous winners, Anne Carson and George Szirtes, as well as Michael Symmons Roberts who won the Forward Prize in 2013. The shortlisted poets each receive £1,000.