TS Eliot Prize Winner/Poet Arrested in Somaliland – Poetry News Roundup January 15th

In today’s poetry news round-up we take a look at the winner of the 2018 TS Eliot Prize, which was awarded just yesterday. We also have an article about a poet in Somaliland who has been arrested following a poetry event.

Hannah Sullivan Wins TS Eliot Prize

The winner of the 2018 TS Eliot prize has been announced as Hannah Sullivan. Her debut collection “Three Poems” which was described by the panel of judges as “astonishing” scooped up the £25,000 prize.

The judges were full of praise for the book, with the chair of the judging committee, Sinead Morrissey, saying that she felt it challenged the parameters of exactly what a poem can do and that the collection simply stood out amongst all the other entries.
revealed Morrissey, who was herself a winner of the prize in 2013.

The announcement was made during a special ceremony which took place at the Wallace Collection. This had been preceded by an evening of reading, during which all 10 of the shortlisted poets read excerpts from their work at the Royal Festival Hall.

Sullivan is a Professor of English at Oxford University. She has already won numerous awards for her academic research which looks at the modernist approach to literary styles.

Half of the collections that were shortlisted this year were debuts, the remaining 5 included collections from Tracy K Smith, the US poet laureate and Terrance Hayes. Each shortlist entry will receive a prize of £1,5000 from the TS Eliot Foundation.

Last years winning entry was also a debut collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong. He went on to win other prestigious prize later in the year for the same collection.

Somaliland Poet Arrested

British-Somaliland poet Abdirahman Abees was arrested on January 12th . The previous day he had been taking part in a poetry reading event and had recited poems about
The poetry evening had been organised with Abees under the theme
He was arrested the following day whilst at a restaurant, although the police did not have any court issued paperwork for his arrest. According to the law in the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland:
Under the constitution, everyone is entitled to the freedom to express their opinions whether this be visually in writing or orally. Abees is currently being held in the Hargeisa Counterterrorism Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department, and his family have not been allowed to visit him.

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