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T S Eliot Prize 2006


T S Eliot Prize for Poetry - winner announced

The Poetry Book SocietySpecialist book club founded by T S Eliot in 1953, which aims to offer the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Members buy at 25% discount. The PBS has a handsome new website at has just announced the winner of the 2006 Prize at the award ceremony in London and it is Seamus Heaney for his collection District and Circle, published by Faber and FaberClick for Faber and Faber Publishers References listing.

The prize money of £10,000 is given by the widow of the poet, Mrs Valerie Eliot, and the Prize is sponsored by the broadcaster Five

The judges (Chair Sean O'Brien, Sophie Hannah and Gwyneth Lewis) had a difficult task deciding amongst the extremely strong shortlist of ten collections published during 2006. 

Seamus Heaney is one of the leading poets of his generation. He has twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He has never won the T S Eliot Prize, widely regarded as the top UK poetry prize.

District and Circle is his twelfth collection of poems. As well as being shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize it was also shortlisted for the 2006 Forward Prize and was a Poetry Book Society Choice.

The shortlist comprised Seamus Heaney; Paul Muldoon, Pulitzer Prize winner and previous winner of the Eliot; Simon Armitage, well-known to school students and  winner of one of the first Forward Prizes; American poet Jane Hirshfield, who is celebrated in the US but publishing only her second book in the UK; W N Herbert, author of the long and exuberant Bad Shaman Blues; Paul Farley, whose second collection, The Ice Age, won the Whitbread Poetry Award in 2002; Tim Liardet, whose collection is about working in the largest Young Offenders' Institution in Europe; Penelope Shuttle, whose collection is about the loss of her husband the poet Peter Redgrove; Hugo Williams, who won the Eliot in 1999; and Robin Robertson, winner of this year's Forward Prize.

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