The ten finalists for the T. S. Eliot Prize, a U.K. award worth fifteen thousand pounds, were recently named in what chair of judges Anne Stevenson called an "exceptional year for poetry." Among the titles selected from 123 entries are the second collection from an American Army veteran, three Forward Poetry Prize–nominated books and this year's winner (who is one of two Nobel laureates on the list), and a collection by the great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud that includes a poetic sequence informed by family letters.
The shortlisted poets, each of whom will receive one thousand pounds, are below.
Simon Armitage for Seeing Stars (Faber)
Annie Freud for The Mirabelles (Picador)
John Haynes for You (Seren)
Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney for Human Chain (Faber; Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which won the Forward Prize this year
Pascale Petit for What the Water Gave Me (Seren)
Robin Robertson for The Wrecking Light (Picador; forthcoming from Mariner Books), which was a 2010 Forward finalist
Fiona Sampson for Rough Music (Carcanet Press), also a 2010 Forward finalist
Brian Turner for Phantom Noise (Bloodaxe, Alice James Books)
Nobel laureate Derek Walcott for White Egrets (Faber; Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Sam Willetts for New Light for the Old Dark (Jonathan Cape)
The winner will be named on January 24 after a reading by the finalists at London's Royal Festival Hall on the previous day.
In the video below, Petit reads from What the Water Gave Me, inspired by the life of artist Frida Kahlo.