On Monday, British poet Sean O'Brien was awarded the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize for his collection The Drowned Book (Macmillan). O'Brien also won the 2007 Forward Poetry Prize for a record-breaking third time last October. He is the first author to receive both prestigious awards, the most lucrative in the United Kingdom, in the same year.
At a ceremony in London, Valerie Eliot presented to O'Brien the £15,000 (approximately $29,516) prize named after her late husband. For the first time in the award's fourteen-year history, each finalist also received a cash prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,968).
The finalists were Ian Duhig for The Speed of Dark (Picador), Alan Gillis for Hawks and Doves (Gallery), Sophie Hannah for Pessimism for Beginners (Carcanet), Mimi Khalvati for The Meanest Flower (Carcanet), Frances Leviston for Public Dream (Picador), Sarah Maguire for The Pomegranates of Kandahar (Chatto), Edwin Morgan for A Book of Lives (Carcanet), Fiona Sampson for Common Prayer (Carcanet), and Matthew Sweeney for Black Moon (Jonathan Cape).
The annual award is given for a poetry collection published in the United Kingdom or Ireland during the previous year.