Today’s poetry news round up takes a look at the winner of the TS Eliot Prize 2024 and the witty inscriptions of a poet that are being put up for auction.
TS Eliot Prize 2024
Jason Allen-Paisant, a Jamaican poet, has been named as the winner of the 2024 TS Eliot Prize. His winning book is titled
Allen-Paisant’s work was described by this year’s judging panel as full of style, nerve and integrity, and something that they felt readers would be returning to for many years to come.
The poet currently teachers creative writing and critical theory at University of Manchester. Later this year his first non-fiction book will be published. This is his second collection, and it uses the William Shakespeare’s Othello as a way of exploring the search of a black male immigrant for a masculine role model and identity. The book has been very well received by a number of literary critics. His first poetry collection
won him the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature 2022 in the poetry category.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the TS Eliot Prize and the £25,000 prize was awarded at a ceremony in London.
Paul Muldoon, the chair of judges, who is himself a previous winner of the award, and his fellow judges had plenty of praise for the book, saying
There were a total of 186 submissions for the competition this year from publishers in Britain and Ireland and the shortlist of 10 poets hailed from the UK, Hong Kong, Ireland and the US. Amongst those who were shortlisted were Sharon Olds with “Balladz” and Eilean Ni Chuilleanain with “The Map of the World”
All of the poets who were shortlisted took part in a poetry reading in front of a packed audience over the weekend. They were each presented with a runners up cheque for £1,500.
Sir John Betjeman Hilarious Inscriptions Revealed
A collection of hilarious inscriptions, written by the poet Sir John Betjeman, are being put up for auction.
The collection belonged to John McGlashan, a lensman who worked with the poet and a range of stars and directors during his lengthy career. When McGlashan died aged 86, a collection of witty notes from the poet that he had collected came to light. Amongst them are an annotated and signed copy of an audio reading of “Banana Blush” the poet’s verse collection. On it in his almost illegible, spidery writing is written “Oh that I had more hair!”.
The collection is not expected to fetch huge amounts at auction. The top lot has an estimate of £500 but they represent an opportunity to acquire an interesting piece of history.