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Winner of the T S Eliot Prize for Poetry Announced | 21-Jan-10

The Poetry Book Society is delighted to announce that Philip Gross has won the 2009 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry with The Water Table, published by Bloodaxe.

The judges of this year's Prize, Chair Simon Armitage, and fellow-poets Penelope Shuttle and Colette Bryce, reached their decision after months of deliberation and debate. The winner was chosen from a field of ten highly-regarded poets.

Simon Armitage said:

'A book of great clarity and concentration, continually themed but always lively and alert in its use of language. Gross takes us from Great Flood to subtly invoked concerns for our watery planet; this is a mature and determined book, dream-like in places, but dealing ultimately with real questions of human existence.'

Born in Cornwall in 1952, Philip Gross lived in Bristol and Bath for many years, and now lives in Penarth in South Wales. His previous collections include The Egg of Zero (2006), Mappa Mundi (2003), Changes of Address: Poems 1980-1998 (2001), The Wasting Game (1998) and several collections for children, including Scratch City (1995) and The All-Nite Café (1993). He has recently published I Spy Pinhole Eye, a collaboration with photographer Simon Denison, published by Cinnamon Press. He is also the author of ten highly-praised novels for young people. He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University. The Water Table is published by Bloodaxe.

Simon Armitage formally announced the winner on January 18 at the T S Eliot Prize award ceremony at the Wallace Collection, where Mrs Valerie Eliot presented the winner with a cheque for £15,000.  Each shortlisted poet  receives a cheque for £1,000, in recognition of their achievement in winning a place on the most prestigious shortlist in UK poetry.  The Poetry Book Society would like to thank Mrs Eliot for her generosity in providing the prize money.

In the second year of a three-year sponsorship the John S Cohen Foundation is sponsoring the 2009 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry. The Foundation includes the David Cohen Prize for Literature amongst its portfolio, which covers the arts, education, culture, environment, conservation and heritage.

The T S Eliot Prize is supported by the T S Eliot Foundation.

The Water Table by Philip Gross and all the shortlisted titles can be ordered online from or by phone from the PBS on 020 7833 9247.  Poets shortlisted: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Fred D'Aguiar, Jane Draycott, Sinéad Morrissey, Sharon Olds, Alice Oswald, Christopher Reid, George Szirtes and Hugo Williams.

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