T S Eliot Prize 2009

Wow.  I felt sure they’d give it to Christopher Reid, but Congratulations to Philip Gross, for winning with The Water Table.  It was clear, at the reading on  Sunday, that this was a poet confident and committed, alive to the ebb and flow of his verse.  I’m predisposed to like his book, since you can see the Severn, the estuary, the Channel – and the two bridges – from my old home.  I’m curious whether he mentions the old Magnox reactor across the river from us – you can see it quite clearly, walking down from my Mum and Dad’s in Yorkley Slade to my sister’s in Oldcroft.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading the book – and the others on the shortlist.  I only know the Sharon Olds collection, which I liked for its daring.  The War poems – and the end of the book, about her mother – I found exciting. 

But the best thing about this prize can be found on the BBC website’s article about it.  They have renamed one of the judges as “Simon Artimage”.  Isn’t that great?

Here’s to artimages everywhere!

Edited in: Typical!  They’ve corrected it, now, so he’s an Armitage.  But it was there earlier, honest.  Artimage.  And I’ve just been to the shops to buy books…A Scattering, which I admired (the bits and bobs from it that have popped up on websites etc) and Jane Draycott’s Over, which I’d been meaning to get, but hadn’t.  She gave a beautiful reading (amongst a whole crop of really fine readings) at the preview event.  But really, I’m going to have to buy all the books on the shortlist…

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