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Jason Allen-Paisant, Joe Carrick-Varty and Kit Fan Shortlisted for T.S. Eliot Prize

Tuesday, 3 Oct 2023

Jason Allen-Paisant, Joe Carrick-Varty and Kit Fan Three Carcanet titles have been shortlisted for the 2023 T.S. Eliot Prize!

Self-Portrait as Othello by Jason Allen-Paisant, More Sky by Joe Carrick-Varty and The Ink Cloud Reader by Kit Fan all made the shortlist for the award, which is given annually to the writer of the best new poetry collection published in the UK and Ireland. Now in its 30th year, the 2023 shortlist was selected by Paul Muldoon (Chair), Sasha Dugdale and Denise Saul. We're thrilled to see Northern talent recognised and celebrated by the most prestigious poetry prize in the world, and the only major poetry prize judged purely by established poets.

The winning poet will receive a prize of £25,000, and the shortlisted poets will each win £1,500. The T.S. Eliot Prize 2023 shortlist readings will take place at the Southbank Centre on Sunday 14th January, before the winner is announced at an awards ceremony on Monday 15th January.

Congratulations to Jason, Joe and Kit!

Self-Portrait as Othello, More Sky and The Ink Cloud Reader Self-Portrait as Othello by Jason Allen-Paisant imagines Othello in the urban landscapes of modern London, Paris and Venice and invents the kinds of narrative he might tell about his intersecting identities. Poetic memoir and ekphrastic experiment, Self-Portrait as Othello focuses on a character at once fictional and real. Othello here represents a structure of feeling that was emerging in seventeenth-century Venice, and is still with us.

Portraiting himself as Othello, Allen-Paisant refracts his European travels and considers the Black male body, its presence, transgressiveness and vulnerabilities. Othello's intertwined identities as 'immigrant' and 'Black', which often operate as mutually reinforcing vectors, speak to us in the landscape of twenty-first-century Europe.


More Sky is a remarkable and remarkably various debut collection from Eric Gregory Award winner, Joe Carrick-Varty, tracking the ways in which experience of addiction and domestic violence shape a life.

Carrick-Varty approaches difficult material with great skill and poise: here we find stunning individual lyrics, with an eye for the vivid and surreal; surprising sequences which use Buddhism and Greek myth and the life of coral to refract the poems' interests; and the astonishing sixty-three page long poem ‘sky doc’ which meditates on suicide, and its retrospective haunting of every corner of its speaker’s life.


In his disquieting third collection The Ink Cloud Reader, Kit Fan takes enormous risks linguistically, formally and visually to process the news of a sudden illness and the threat of mortality, set against the larger chaos of his beloved city Hong Kong and our broken planet. These shape-shifting poems are sensitive to anxiety and to beauty, questioning the turbulent climate of our time while celebrating the power of ink – of reading and writing.

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