T S Eliot Prize Award Ceremony at The Wallace Collection
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy took to the stage last night at the 60th Annual T S Eliot Award Ceremony. Hosted in Manchester Square’s The Wallace Collection, the competition, which was set up in 1953, awards £15,000 to the writer of the best book of poetry published in the previous year.
This year’s winner was San Francisco-born Sharon Olds for her collection Stag’s Leap, a series of poems documenting the grief and slow recovery from divorce. Olds was the judges’ unanimous winner and Ms Duffy, who also presented the runners-up with cheques for £1,000, said Stag’s Leap was “the book of [Olds’] career.”
Ms Duffy continued: “There is a grace and chivalry in her grief that marks her out as being a world-class poet. I always say that poetry is the music of being human, and in this book she is really singing. Her journey from grief to healing is so beautifully executed.”
The prize is run by The Poetry Book Society and supported by the T S Eliot Estate and Aurum Funds. The benefactor of the T S Eliot Estate, Valerie Eliot, died last November but will continue to support the competition posthumously; and a spokesperson from the PBS paid tribute to her last night: “She was always a most elegant presence. She was T S Eliot’s secretary when this competition was first established. She was a great and generous benefactor.”
Photos: Alice Audley