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Cardiff academic shortlisted for T.S. Eliot Prize

24 October 2018

TS Eliot Prize shortlist

Poet shortlisted for most prestigious prize in British poetry

Ailbhe Darcy, Lecturer in Creative Writing,  has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2018. Her second collection, Insistence, is one of ten works shortlisted in a record year of submissions.

The £25,000 prize is awarded annually for the best new poetry collection published in the UK or Ireland and has been dubbed ‘the Prize most poets want to win’ by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion.

"In the face of terrible knowledge, Darcy has managed the almost impossible here: a collection that, though written in time, seems to go on for all time. In Darcy’s fierce, word-shifting hands the future of poetry seems certain, even if nothing else is." - Maria Johnston, BODYLiterature

A new child should mean new hope. But what if that’s no longer so? Set in the American Rust Belt, in an era of climate change and upheaval, Insistence takes stock of the parent’s responsibility to her child, the poet’s responsibility to the reader, and the vulnerability of the person in the face of global crisis, paying homage to Inger Christensen’s 1981 alfabet.

Dr Darcy gives this insight into her latest collection: “Insistence does its best to face up to the realities of climate change and global crisis without flinching. It’s a huge honour for the book to be included alongside the work of such fantastic poets, and one which reflects the diversity and urgency of this year’s poetry.”

Dublin-born Ailbhe Darcy was shortlisted for Ireland’s dlr Strong Award for her first book-length collection Imaginary Menagerie. Her work has also featured in the Bloodaxe anthologies Identity Parade and Voice Recognition.

Judging the 2018 shortlist, panel chair Sinead Morrissey said: “Poetry is a flourishing art form. We read 176 collections from a plethora of poetry publishers, both new and established, and felt privileged to listen in to such a lively, diverse and urgent conversation. With difficulty we chose our ten brilliant poetry books of the year – many of them debut collections. Together they offer an invigorated language, confident mastery of form and fresh, sophisticated perspectives on our uncertain times.”

On the 2018 TS Eliot shortlist are Ailbhe Darcy, Terrance Hayes, Zaffar Kunial, Nick Laird, Fiona Moore, Sean O’Brien, Phoebe Power, Richard Stott, Tracy K Smith and Hannah Sullivan. Each shortlisted poet receives £1,500, with the winner scooping £25,000, the largest prize of its kind in the UK and Ireland.

Distinctive among poetry prizes for its judging panel of established poets, The TS Eliot Prize for Poetry was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society’s 40th birthday and honour its founding poet.

The 2018 T.S. Eliot Prize prize is announced at a special awards ceremony on Monday 14th January 2019 at the Royal Festival Hall.