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The Poetry Book Society is delighted to announce the judges for the 2009 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry. Simon Armitage will be Chair of the judges and the other two members of the panel will be poets Colette Bryce and Penelope Shuttle.

The judges will meet in late October to decide on the ten-book shortlist. The four Poetry Book Society Choices from 2008 are automatically shortlisted for the Prize. The Spring 2009 Choice was Weeds and Wild Flowers by Alice Oswald and Jessica Greenman (Faber) and the Summer 2009 Choice will be Continental Shelf by Fred D' Aguiar (Carcanet). They will be joined on the shortlist by the PBS Autumn Choice, which will be announced in May, and the Winter Choice, which will be announced in August.

The T S Eliot Shortlist Readings will take place on Sunday 17 January 2010 in the Southbank's Queen Elizabeth Hall.  The 2009 Readings were an unprecedented success, attracting one of the biggest audiences for a single poetry event of recent times. The winner of the 2009 Prize will be announced at the award ceremony on Monday 18 January 2010, when Mrs Valerie Eliot will present the winner with a cheque for £15,000 and the shortlisted poets will each receive £1,000.

The T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme, run by the Poetry Book Society in partnership with the English and Media Centre's emagazine, will offer A level students a chance to engage with the latest new poetry by shadowing the judges.

Last year's winner of the T S Eliot Prize was Jen Hadfield, for her second collection Nigh-no Place (Bloodaxe). The judges were Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, (Chair), Lavinia Greenlaw and Tobias Hill.

The T S Eliot prize was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday, and to honour its founding poet.  Now in its seventeenth year, the T S Eliot Prize is the 'world?s top poetry award' (Louise Jury, The Irish Independent). The Prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best new collection published in the UK or Ireland. It is unique as it is always judged by a panel of established poets and it has been described by Andrew Motion as 'the Prize most poets want to win'.

Previous winners (in chronological order) are: Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, Mark Doty, Les Murray, Don Paterson, Ted Hughes, Hugo Williams, Michael Longley, Anne Carson, Alice Oswald, Don Paterson (for the second time), George Szirtes, Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Sean O'Brien and Jen Hadfield.

The 2009 Prize is generously sponsored by the John S Cohen Foundation. The Foundation includes the David Cohen Prize for Literature amongst its portfolio, which covers the arts, education, culture, environment, conservation and heritage.

The Prize is supported by the T S Eliot Foundation.

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