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Phoebe Power Shortlisted for TS Eliot Prize

Thursday, 18 Oct 2018

Cover image of Pheobe Power's Shrines of Upper Austria We're overjoyed to share the news with you that Phoebe Power has been shortlisted for the 2019 TS Eliot Prize with her debut collection, Shrines of Upper Austria. The collection was a Poetry book Society Recommendation, and also won the Felix Dennis Award for Best First Collection at the Forward Prizes earlier this year - so huge congratulions to Pheobe, who is making us extremely proud with this brilliant debut!

The T S Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings are the largest annual poetry event in the UK and will be hosted once again by Ian McMillan on Sunday 13 January, in the Royal Festival Hall. Tickets are available to buy at the Southbank Centre website or ticket office on 020 3879 9555.

Read more about the prize and the full shortlist here. Congratulations to all the poets and publishers shortlisted!

Each of the shortlisted collections will be reviewed by John Field, with the reviews appearing in the weekly TS Eliot Prize newsletters, to which you can subscribe here. This year the prize will also provide Readers' Notes for each of the collections to facilitate reading by individual readers and reading groups. They will be launched on 25 October.

Photo of Phoebe Power Wandering in central Europe, a traveller observes and records a landscape of lakes, folk culture and uneasy histories. Phoebe Power’s Shrines of Upper Austria gathers numerous stories and perspectives, such as the fragmented narrative of an Austrian woman who married a British soldier after the Second World War, and the voices of schoolchildren and immigrants. Strange discoveries are made: a grave for two dead goats; a lantern procession on the night of Epiphany; a baby abandoned by a river; a homemade frog-puppet.

The poems are a collage of stories and histories, set in a variety of forms and registers. They are attentive to local detail, rich in the names of people and places – Marija, Omegepta, Eck 4 and the Loser Mountain. Mixing poetry and prose, image and narrative, German and English, Power’s poems are a celebration of creativity in unlikely places. Against a disquieting backdrop of mild winters and memories of snow, they invite us to question what it means to feel at once a stranger and at home. 

Phoebe Power received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2012 and a Northern Writers’ Award in 2014. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies including The Rialto, Oxford Poetry and The White Review. She has recently collaborated with other artists on projects including a live performance of her pamphlet Harp Duet (Eyewear, 2016), and Christl, a video installation involving poetry, visual art and sound. She currently lives in York.

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