Professor nominated for poetry prize

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Lancaster University Professor Paul Farley has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot award 2012, for his poetry collection entitled ‘The Dark Film’.

His book, which explores darkness and the art of seeing, was selected from a new record of 131 submissions. The shortlist, which has been whittled down to ten authors, also features poetry collections by Simon Armitage, Sean Borodale, Gillian Clarke, Julia Copus, Jorie Graham, Kathleen Jamie, Sharon Olds, Jacob Polley and Deryn Rees-Jones, six of whom were chosen by the judges, and four of whom were this year’s quarterly selections of the Poetry Book Society.

The award is being judged this year by fellow poets Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Longley and David Morley. Duffy, who is chairing this year’s award, said she was “delighted with a shortlist which sparkles with energy, passion and freshness and which demonstrates the range and variety of poetry being published in the UK”. Longley was also keen to point out that they “paid no attention whatsoever to gender or reputation or to who the publishers might be, we just went on the words on the page.”

The TS Eliot award is one of the top poetry prizes in the UK and is awarded to the author of the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland each year. The award was established in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society’s 40th birthday as well as honouring its founding poet, the winner receives a cheque of £15,000, donated by Eliot’s widow, Valerie Eliot. The prize has been described as “the prize most poets want to win” by Sir Andrew Motion, but also the “most demanding of all poetry prizes,” by Gillian Clarke, who was one of last year’s judges. Previous winners include Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.

Farley, a professor of Poetry at Lancaster University, has also been nominated twice previously for the award in 2003 and 2007, for his previous collections The Ice Age and Tramp in Flames. Farley also works as a broadcaster and has written many arts, features and documentary programmes as well as several plays which have been produced for BBC Radio.

The winner of the 2012 TS Eliot Prize will be announced at an Award Ceremony on 14th January 2013.

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