Judges Andrew Motion (Chair), Lavinia Greenlaw and Tobias Hill chose 10 collections from the 90 new books published in 2008 which were submitted by publishers. The shortlisted poets included Moniza Alvi (Bloodaxe), Peter Bennet (Flambard), Ciaran Carson (Gallery Books), Robert Crawford (Jonathan Cape), Maura Dooley (Bloodaxe), Mark Doty (Jonathan Cape), Jen Hadfield (Bloodaxe), the late Mick Imlah (Faber), Glyn Maxwell (Picador) and Stephen Romer (Carcanet).
Andrew Motion said of the shortlist: “The ten books on the shortlist are all significant achievements in themselves – richly imagined, formally enterprising, emotionally intelligent and importantly varied. They also bear witness to the vitality of contemporary poetry as a whole, and make the prize an occasion for general congratulation.”
Throughout its 15-year history the Prize has been a much sought-after accolade; now, thanks to the generosity of Mrs Eliot, it is the largest cash award in British poetry. The winner will receive £15,000, increased from £10,000 in 2007. Each of the shortlisted poets will also receive a cheque for £1,000 in recognition of their achievement.
All the shortlisted titles can be ordered online from http://www.poetrybookshoponline.com or by phone from the PBS on 020 7833 9247.