14/01/2014

Belfast Poet Laureate Wins TS Eliot Prize

Belfast’s first Poet Laureate Sinéad Morrissey has won the TS Eliot prize for poetry for her collection Parallax.

Dr Morrissey's inclusion on the shortlist marked the fourth time she had been nominated for the prize, having previously been shortlisted in 2002, 2005 and 2009.

Judges Ian Duhig, Imtiaz Dharker and Vicki Feaver chose the winner after months of reading and deliberation.

Chair Ian Duhig said: "In a year of brilliantly themed collections, the judges were unanimous in choosing Sinéad Morrissey's Parallax as the winner. Politically, historically and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, her book is as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests."

Sinéad Morrissey was born in 1972 in County Armagh and is the author of five poetry collections, four of which - Between Here and There (2002); The State of the Prisons (2005); the PBS Choice Through the Square Window (2009); and Parallax (2013) - have been shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. She lives in Belfast where she is Reader in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre and is Belfast's inaugural Poet Laureate.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who created the post of Poet Laureate when he came into office last year, said: "Our city is tremendously proud of her achievements. Poetry is front and central to the Belfast story. Sinéad is enriching the cultural aspect of our daily lives and building on our creative legacy.

"Through her work with communities across Belfast, this wonderful poet is engaging with residents and encouraging everyone to celebrate our poetry. On behalf of all of us, I send our congratulations."

(IT/CD)

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