We were delighted to hear that Picador poets make up half of the collections shortlisted for this year’s T. S. Eliot Prize.

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’ (Sir Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate) and ‘the world’s top poetry award’ (Independent), it is awarded annually to the author of the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland.

Read poems from each of our nominated collections, from Rachael Boast, Ian Duhig, Jacob Polley, Denise Riley, Katharine Towers below. 

Void Studies 
Rachael Boast

The breathtaking new collection from the winner of the Forward and Seamus Heaney Prizes for poetry. Based on a project originally proposed by the French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud but never completed, Void Studies is an airy and beautiful collection of poems written as musical etudes.

Read 'Night Vision'


The Blind Road-Maker
Ian Duhig

A brilliant and eclectic collection. No poet today writes with such a sense of political and social conscience, and The Blind Road-Maker affirms Duhig's belief in poetry as a means of commemorating those who least deserve to be forgotten.

Read 'The Ballad of Blind Jack Metcalf'


Jacob Polley

One of the most original books of poetry to appear in the last decade, Jackself spins a kind of 'fictionalized autobiography' through nursery rhymes, riddles and cautionary tales, and through the many 'Jacks' of our folktale, legend, phrase and fable.

Read 'Every Creeping Thing'


Say Something Back
Denise Riley

A deeply moving document of grieving and loss by one of our finest writers, Say Something Back allows readers to see why Denise Riley is held in such high regard by her fellow poets. 

Read 'They saw you coming'



The Remedies
Katharine Towers

Katharine Towers' second collection explores the fragility of our relationship with the natural world. The Remedies is a lyric, unforgettable collection which shows Towers emerging as a major poetic talent.

Read ‘The Roses’


The full 2016 shortlist is as follows

Rachael Boast | Void Studies

Vahni Capildeo | Measures of Expatriation 

Ian Duhig | The Blind Road-Maker

J O Morgan  | Interference Pattern

Bernard O’Donoghue  | The Seasons of Cullen Church

Alice Oswald | Falling Awake

Jacob Polley | Jackself

Denise Riley | Say Something Back

Ruby Robinson  | Every Little Sound 

Katharine Towers | The Remedies

The shortlisted collections will be reviewed by John Field, with the reviews appearing in the weekly T. S. Eliot Prize newsletters. Sign up to the newsletters here

The Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 15th January, and the Award Ceremony itself will be at the Wallace Collection on Monday 16th January.

The T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings are the largest annual poetry event in the UK and will be hosted once again by Ian McMillan at the Royal Festival Hall. Tickets are now on sale here.  

Find out more about the T. S. Eliot Prize and all the shortlisted collections here

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