Sinéad Morrissey's Parallax collection wins TS Eliot Prize
Sinéad Morrissey has been named winner of the TS Eliot Prize for the best collection of poetry published in 2013. The award, by judges Ian Duhig, Imtiaz Dharker, and Vicki Feaver, came at a reception at the Wallace Collection in London on 13 January, 2014. Duhig said the judges had been unanimous in their choice of winner. "Politically, historically and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, her book is as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests," he said. Morrissey, Belfast’s inaugural poet laureate, had read with nine other shortlisted poets – Daljit Nagra, Moniza Alvi, Maurice Riordan, (Ruth Padel), on behalf of Anne Carson, Michael Symmons Roberts, Dannie Abse, Helen Mort, George Szirtes, and Robin Robertson at the Royal Festival Hall the night before.
Among the poems she read was ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, which was inspired by the film, which she saw while going into labour with her first child. The film’s theme was paralleled by her own experience of her grandmother dying just before her baby was born. Morrissey’s collection Parallax, which was also shortlisted for the Forward prize, is published by Carcanet. In an interview with the Guardian she said the collection was strongly inlfuenced by film and photography, and "this idea of looking at things from different perspectives, shifting positions".
Sinéad Morrissey was born in 1972 and grew up in Belfast. She read English and German at Trinity College, Dublin, from which she took her PhD in 2003. She has lived in Germany, Japan and New Zealand and now lectures in creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast.
PHOTOGRAPH: ADRIAN POPE