Brief thoughts on the T.S. Eliot Shortlist

As hype grows about who will win the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize (announced on Mon 24th Jan), I’ve been casting my mind back to this time last year when Sinead Morrissey’s Through the Square Window was on the shortlist, Colette Bryce was on the judging panel, and I was submitting my PhD applications. The title poem from Morrissey’s collection is read below, and you can read it yourself on the Poetry Society website.

Of the books on the 2010 shortlist I’ve read this year, I liked Annie Freud’s The Mirabelles and Pascale Petit’s What the Water Gave Me best. In fact, I really liked Petit’s collection because I feel it brings something quite original to the genre through the affecting narrative and artistic anchoring.

There are no prizes for guessing who I was backing last year – although Philip Gross’s The Water Table was, I concede, a worthy winner.

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2 thoughts on “Brief thoughts on the T.S. Eliot Shortlist

  1. Agh, this may be an unpopular view with you but I really do not like Sinead Morrissey. I find her poetry sickeningly twee. When reading her poems, all I want to do is grab her and shake her – and watching her read her poem, the feeling only intensifies! Are you a big fan of hers or is your interest purely academic? For me, I need my poets to commit – I like my poets to be unafraid: I am a Plath fan I suppose!;) And there are of course, Plath criticisms. But I’d rather poetry with spite, spikes, sass! Morrissey just does not impact on me at all.

  2. That is a damning summation, Maeve!

    My interest is academic, of course. But I’m not going to pretend I would spend 3-4 years of my life on something I’m not passionate about! I can sort of understand some of your points – but I’d put tweeness down to ethereal-ness, and I try to ignore reading styles. I mean, have you heard Yeats and MacNeice?

    If you don’t like Morrissey, I’d be interested to hear what you think of Bryce and Flynn. They are a bit more sparky – which might be more to your taste!

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