Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Political poetry dominates shortlist for the TS Eliot Prize

Donald Trump-era American has a strong presence in the poems. (Niall Carson/PA)
Donald Trump-era American has a strong presence in the poems. (Niall Carson/PA)

A political shortlist has been announced for a prestigious poetry prize, including works on Donald Trump’s America, Grenfell Tower and the migrant crisis.

The contenders for the TS Eliot Prize have now been revealed and their verse draws heavily on contemporary issues.

Writers from the UK and USA have penned potentially prize-winning poems about racial violence, the white electorate and the London gay scene.

The shortlisted authors stand to win £25,000 for a winning collection – and each of the contenders is given £1,500.

American poet Terrance Hayes rapidly wrote American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, with each poem bearing the same name and carrying a largely political message.

He wrote the collection in the first 200 days of the Trump presidency and in the book he writes: “So this is what it means to have a leader you despise.”

In one he writes of racial violence, saying: “Something happened in Ferguson, in Brooklyn, in Charleston.”

Fellow American Tracy K Smith has also written a politically conscious work, Wade in the Water, a parody of the Declaration Of Independence for the Trump era.

She writes: “He has sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people. Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.”

Northern Irish writer Nick Laird has also engaged with the political events across the Atlantic, where he is now based.

He has penned Getting the White Vote Out in his new collection Feel Free.

Tower block fire in London
Grenfell Tower is now covered in plastic sheeting (Rick Findler/PA)

Laird also writes about Grenfell and the fate of fictional migrants “Basil, Fatou, Ahmed” in an imagined game of migration.

He also writes: “It’s clear that Schwarzenegger was the acceptable exploration of the Nazis.”

British writer Zaffar Kunial has been shortlisted for his work Us, which explores his mixed British and Kashmiri heritage.

He also worries in the work about “the economy, and of Europe, and Greece”.

Richard Scott explores the London gay scene in his Verlaine-inspired work, Soho, in which he writes: “For the longest time people told me I must change my life but this is my life this adoration of men.”

Ailbhe Darcy has been shortlisted for Insistence; Fiona Moore for The Distal Point; Sean O’Brien for Europa; Phoebe Power for Shrines of Upper Austria, and Hannah Sullivan for Three Poems.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on Monday January 14 next year.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]