Jane Clarke & Abigail Parry on T S Eliot Prize 2023 Shortlist
Two titles published by Bloodaxe Books are on the shortlist for the prestigious T S Eliot Prize, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best new poetry collection published in the UK and Ireland. The ten-strong shortlist was announced on 3 October 2023, chosen from 186 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers.
Irish poet Jane Clarke's third full collection A Change in the Air, published in May, is on the shortlist, together with Abigail Parry's second collection I Think We're Alone Now, which is published in November. A Change in the Air was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2023.
The Judges for the T S Eliot Prize 2023 are: Paul Muldoon (Chair), Sasha Dugdale and Denise Saul.
On behalf of the judges, Paul Muldoon said:
'We are confident that all ten shortlisted titles not only meet the high standards they set themselves but speak most effectively to, and of, their moment. If there’s a single word for that moment it is surely ‘disrupted’, and all these poets properly reflect that disruption. Shot through though they are with images of grief, migration, and conflict, they are nonetheless imbued with energy and joy. The names of some poets will be familiar, others less so; all will find a place in your head and heart.'
The T S Eliot Prize Readings will be held at London's Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 14 January 2024 at 7pm, followed by a ceremony at the Wallace Collection on the evening of 15 January 2024. The winning poet receives £25,000 and all shortlisted poets receive £1,500. The T S Eliot Prize is the most valuable in British poetry and is the only major poetry prize which is judged solely by established poets.
More information and bookings for the T S Eliot Prize Readings are on the Southbank Centre website here.
Full details of all the shortlisted books are on the T S Eliot Prize website here.
Specially commissioned videos of interviews with and readings by the shortlisted poets are being released over ten weeks, and are then posted on the T S Eliot Prize YouTube channel here.
All ten shortlisted books have been reviewed by John Field, with reviews posted on the T S Eliot Prize website and featured in weekly e-newsletters along with Readers' Notes by Julia Bird.
Sign up to the T S Eliot Prize e-newsletter here.
‘A Change in the Air offers a generous-hearted view of the world … In Jane Clarke’s hands, clarity, purity and strength speak for themselves. Her words are weighed and used sparingly. They take your breath away.’ – John Field, T S Eliot Prize reviewer
John Field’s review is available in full on the T S Eliot Prize website:
Readers’ Notes for A Change in the Air
Jane Clarke talks about her work and the theme of change that runs through her collection A Change in the Air.
Jane reads 'Pit Ponies of Glendasan', the poem which gave the title to her third collection A Change in the Air.
For interview requests in connection with the T S Eliot Prize, please contact Gina Rozner: email@example.com, tel 07887 811806.
Jane Clarke is pictured in The Guardian's piece on the 2023 T S Eliot Prize shortlist here.
Jane Clarke’s third collection A Change in the Air is far-reaching and yet precisely rooted in time and place. In luminous language her poems explore how people, landscape and culture shape us. Voices of the past and present reverberate with courage and resilience in the face of poverty, prejudice, war and exile and the everyday losses of living. Across six sequences these intimate poems of unembellished imagery accrue power and resonance in what is essentially a book of love poems to our beautiful, fragile world. A Change in the Air was longlisted for the Laurel Prize 2023 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. It is on the shortlist for the T S Eliot Prize 2023.
A Change in the Air follows two previous collections from Jane Clarke. Her 2019 second collection When the Tree Falls was shortlisted for three national Irish poetry prizes, the Pigott Poetry Prize 2020, the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Farmgate Cafe National Poetry Award 2020, as well as being longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020. Her debut collection The River (2015) was the first poetry book to be shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize. Jane Clarke grew up on a farm in Co. Roscommon, and now lives near Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow.
Abigail Parry reads eight poems from I Think We’re Alone Now: ‘In the dream of the cold restaurant’, ‘Some remarks on the General Theory of Relativity’, ‘Speculum’, ‘Whatever happened to Rosemarie?’, ‘The Fly Dressers’ Guide’, ‘Giallo’, ‘The brain of the rat in stereotaxic space’ and ‘It’s the lark that sings so out of tune’. Neil Astley filmed her reading from her new collection at her home in Cardiff in May 2023 ahead of the book’s publication in November 2023.
[03 October 2023]