TS Eliot Prize Shortlist/Angelou News – Poetry News Roundup October 18th

Our final news round-up of the week takes a look at the shortlist for this year’s TS Eliot Prize. We also have a couple of articles about the poet Maya Angelou.

TS Eliot Prize Shortlist

The shortlist of what are being described as “fearless poets” has been unveiled for this year’s TS Eliot prize.

Surge by Jay Bernard is one of the collections that has been shortlisted for the prestigious prize. The collection was inspired by the New Cross fire that occurred in south London in 1981 and ended the lives of 13 young black people. It has already won one prize. The Ted Hughes Prize and has also been nominated for the Forward Prize for best first collection; the winner of which is to be announced very shortly.

Sharon Olds, a former winner of the prize, has also been nominated. Her collection Arias takes a look at the intimate life of a woman and tackles a variety of subjects.

The list is also tinged with hints of violence. After the Formalities by Anthony Anaxagorou is about an Uber driver that suffers racial abuse on the day of the Brexit referendum and then has a knife pulled on them. Vertigo and the Ghost by Fiona Benson tackles the subject of a serial rapist, and Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic tackles the subject of a deaf boy killed by soldiers during a protest.

The judges said that this year had been an excellent one for poetry. In total, they read 150 poetry collections from all over the world. Each one different in its own way, and with its own very clear message to relay. The 150 have become just 10 and now the difficult task of picking the single winner must begin.

The shortlist includes first collections, second collections, and works by well-established poets like Paul Farley who already have several awards under their belts.

The TS Eliot prize has a cash award of £25,000 and is the most valuable poetry award in the UK. It has a lengthy list of previous winners including Carol Ann Duffy, Alice Oswald, and Ted Hughes.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on 13th January 2020.

Instagram Error

Staff working for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry apologised to the public earlier this week when fans were quick to spot that they had posted a quote from the American Poet Maya Angelou incorrectly.

The post which appeared on the Sussex Royal Account showed that even with careful proofreading anyone can make a type. The opening line of the quote read Each time a women instead of saying woman. Meghan had cited Angelou during the first day of the royal couple’s recent African tour.

Tribute to Maya Angelou Delayed

A planned tribute to the poet Maya Angelou for San Francisco has been delayed. The monument, which was planned for a position in front of the Main Public Library, has been rejected after the artist who was working on plans for it had her work rejected.

The city let that the designs were not traditional enough for the monument after the local artist had spent months planning the 9-foot bronze monument which was shaped like a book and featured the quote “If one has courage nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”

The city is now looking for another artist to complete the work.



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