Monday, January 12, 2009

A report on the T S Eliot Prize reading

Since I wasn't able to be in London last night for the reading of poets shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize, a splashy event in the UK poetry world, the terrific poet Nick Laird, from Northern Ireland, filled in for me. Here's an entertaining blogger's report on the evening.

A sad afternote: one of the shortlisted poets, Mick Imlah, died this morning, of a chronic illness. He was 52, and had been nominated for his second collection.

9 comments:

BarbaraS said...

Very sad news about Imlah, indeed.

The winner's just been announced: Jen Hadfield, for Nigh-No-Place

BarbaraS said...

And you might want to relocate Nick Laird to Northern Ireland... we Irish & N Irish get a bit tetchy about that sort of thing ;)

adc said...

Yes, Mark, I'm sorry you couldn't come. It was held in one of the old guilds, Skinner's Hall, the one that in the Middle Ages made furs. A huge crowd assembled, mpoets, publishers, magazine editors. But it was impossible to keep things light after Andrew Motion made the announcement about Imlah. Jen Hadfield was nearly as emotional as Kate Winslett at the Golden Globes. Ah, prize ceremonies.

It was touching to see Valerie Eliot there, in magenta and black , sitting next to her old friend Natasha Spender, widow of the poet. The last rays of the old order. Mrs. Eliot smilingly greeted all and sundry. I felt a kind of frisson when shaking the hand that had once... given pleasure to T.S.E. That, in a building just off Cannon Street, mentioned in =The Waste Land=.

Anyway, congratulations on the nomination. It is clearly an annus mirabilis for you.

Collin Kelley said...

Easygoing, jocular and gay! Have you ever been summed up that way before? lol

baroqueinhackney said...

Well I hope so... I meant it in a nice way!

Thanks for the link and mention, I hope you really didn't mind my description! I loved hearing you read at Poetry International, & it was fascinating hearing this very different voice reading your poems. I always think Nick Laird's a great reader anyway, and he did give a different kid of flavour to the work.

Hope you're feeling better now, too.

And yes, shocking news about Mick Imlah.

Mark Doty said...

Ms B, I minded not at all, and I love being granted a bit of a Texas inflection, too! I enjoyed your lively narration of the evening and hope you don't mind me sending readers along to it -- a pleasure to read. So sorry about Mick, whom I did not know, but what heartbreaking timing. And thanks to Barbara for the correction; I wrote this quite early in the morning!

BarbaraS said...

No worries, Mark :) To a foreign (ish) ear, Scots & NI accents can sound very similar indeed...

baroqueinhackney said...

Mark, I grew up in NY & CT; one of my aunts moved to Texas, and I came to London. It's insane when we talk on the phone! I think through English ears you hear the Texas even more...

I hope you'll check out Jen's book; to be honest, there were several in the line-up I wished I could get a closer look at! (And you'll be pleased to hear that of the two I do have already, one was yours.)

And yes, quite shocking and awful about Mick Imlah. What a strange juxtaposition of events. The English poetry world is so small, it feels a bit seismic.

Alfred Corn said...

Correction: Description of the evening was posted by adc (Alfred Corn) not BarbaraS.