TS Eliot Winner/Wordsworth Anniversary – Poetry News Roundup January 15th

Today on My Poetic Side we look at this year”s winner of the TS Eliot Prize. We also look at the latest event to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth.

TS Eliot Prize Winner

The dub poet Roger Robinson has been named as this year”s winner of the TS Eliot Award. His first collection of poetry


triumphed to beat the other shortlisted poets on the 10-book shortlist. This is also the first time that Robinson has been nominated for the prize.

This £25,000 prize is the only one that is judged by established poets and no one else and Sir Andrew Motion describes it as


A lifelong dub poetry performer –dub is a type of spoken poetry that has its roots in West Indian heritage – spends his time between Trinidad and London. He has also been the mentor to a number of other writers and a playwright.

The collection is a mixture of poems that look at violence, the Grenfell fire and Racism, and is taken from the poet”s own observations take from day to day life. The judges felt that the collection sought to find the bitterness that is found every day, with evidence of a sweet life alongside. Whilst the panel of judges had been somewhat divided in the last couple of months over the shortlisted books when they met on Monday to make their final decision Robinson was their unanimous winner. They felt that his poetry had the edge and was very relatable with a clear split of the personal and public in the experiences and emotions that it showed.

Robinson triumphed over the likes of Sharon Olds, a previous winner of the prize and Ilya Kaminsky and Jay Bernard – both young upcoming poets who are worth keeping a close eye on in the future.

He joins a long list of prestigious winners including Ocean Vuong, Carol Ann Duffy and Ted Hughes. Robinson will be only the second-ever poet to be entered into the TS Eliot winners’ archive. The archive was created last year and will collect the works of the winning poets, storing them online for the future.

Young People’s Poetry Competition Launched

The latest event to mark the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of the poet William Wordsworth has been launched. Wordsworth House in Cockermouth has joined forces with the literary festival Words by the Water in a poetry competition aimed at writers up to the age of 19.

Entrants are invited to walk in the footsteps of the great poet, and produce an original work of their own that is inspired by the natural world around them and is no longer than 40 lines in total.

There will be two age categories and the winners will be awarded a weekend camping trip in the Lake District for them and their family.

The organisers of the competition are hoping that it will inspire a generation of youngsters to look at nature in the way that Wordsworth did, and feel that the creation of the competition is the perfect way to celebrate his life.

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