T S Eliot Prize for Poetry

The T S Eliot Prize for Poetry was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and honour its founding poet.

Described as ‘the prize most poets want to win' (Andrew Motion, then Poet Laureate) and ‘the world's top poetry award' (Irish Independent), it is awarded to the author of the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland each year.

The winner receives £15,000 and each of the shortlisted poets receives £1,000.

2010 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry Winner

 Derek Walcott, 81, has won the £15,000 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for his 2010 collection White Egrets. Mr. Walcott (left) is a poet that has previously been recognised with no less than the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. 

"This year's exceptionally strong and varied shortlist made it difficult to choose the winner, but the judges felt that Derek Walcott's White Egrets was a moving, risk-taking and technically flawless book by a great poet," said Anne Stevenson, fellow poet and chair of the judging panel. Award Tragic comments

2010 Shortlisted

Judges Anne Stevenson (Chair), Bernardine Evaristo and Michael Symmons Roberts chose 6 collections from the record 123 books submitted by publishers, which join the 4 PBS Choices to make up the 10 collections on the shortlisted:

Seeing Stars                        Simon Armitage (Faber)
The Mirabelles                      Annie Freud (Picador)
You                                      John Haynes (Seren)
Human Chain                       Seamus Heaney (Faber)
What the Water Gave Me      Pascale Petit (Seren)
The Wrecking Light               Robin Robertson (Picador)
Rough Music                         Fiona Sampson (Carcanet)
Phantom Noise                     Brian Turner (Bloodaxe)
White Egrets                        Derek Walcott (Faber) - Winner
New Light for the Old Dark    Sam Willetts (Jonathan Cape)

Anne Stevenson said:

"The judges have found this an exceptional year for poetry, with a record number of entries, and have agreed on a strong shortlist which is unusually eclectic in form and theme."

Previous winners:

2009        Philip Gross           The Water Table

2008        Jen Hadfield          Nigh-No-Place

2007        Sean O'Brien         The Drowned Book

2006        Seamus Heaney    District and Circle

2005        Carol Ann Duffy     Rapture

2004        George Szirtes      Reel

2003        Don Paterson        Landing Light

2002        Alice Oswald          Dart

2001        Anne Carson         The Beauty of the Husband

2000        Michael Longley     The Weather in Japan

1999        Hugo Williams        Billy's Rain

1998        Ted Hughes           Birthday Letters

1997        Don Paterson        God's Gift to Women

1996        Les Murray            Subhuman Redneck Poems

1995        Mark Doty              My Alexandria

1994        Paul Muldoon         The Annals of Chile

1993        Ciaran Carson        First Language: Poems