N.Ireland's Sinead Morrissey wins British poetry prize

by Reuters
Monday, 13 January 2014 19:30 GMT

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Northern Irish poet Sinead Morrissey, whose latest volume of poetry draws inspiration from the cinema, was named the winner on Monday of the 2013 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for her collection "Parallax".

Morrissey, who is the first poet laureate of Belfast and had been shortlisted for the prize on three previous occasions, will receive an award of 15,000 pounds ($24,600).

"In a year of brilliantly themed collections, the judges were unanimous in choosing Sinead 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," prize jury chairman Ian Duhig said.

Born in 1972 in County Armagh, Morrissey is the author of five poetry collections: "There Was Fire in Vancouver" (1996); "Between Here and There" (2002); "The State of the Prisons" (2005); "Through the Square Window" (2009) and "Parallax" (2013).

Morrissey has said that one of the poems in her latest volume took its title from, and was in part inspired by, watching the 1946 David Niven film "A Matter of Life and Death" in which an aviator who is supposed to be killed in a crash escapes death because of an error on the part of the guide sent to take him to the afterlife.

The T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, named for the author of "The Waste Land" and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", was inaugurated in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and honour its founding poet.

Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but became a naturalised British citizen and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. ($1 = 0.6104 British pounds) (Writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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