T. S. Eliot Prize Winners’ Archive

Special Collection

Welcome to the T. S. Eliot Prize Winners’ Archive. The premier Prize in poetry, the T. S. Eliot Prize was inaugurated in 1993 and is awarded annually to the best new collection of poetry in English published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. In a new collaboration between the T. S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Archive, the T. S. Eliot Prize Winners' Archive presents a celebration of 25 years of the finest poetry collections.

From 2018 each winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize will be inducted into the Poetry Archive and will join this unique collection, where each poet's voice is preserved and made available for you to enjoy.

Listen to the work of T. S. Eliot Prize-winning poets here.

The Weasel

Jacob Polley

Up and down the London Road

Blinder by the hour

I spent as much again as we owed

White winter flowers


David Harsent

I am tucked up here out of sight. I am tucked up here

in the bell-tower of Our Lady of Retribution: my own space

well-stocked and arranged just so. This tower was raised in the year


Sinéad Morrissey

A beautiful cloudless morning. My toothache better.

William at work on The Pedlar. Miss Gell

left a basket of excellent lettuces; I shelled

The Good Neighbour

John Burnside

Somewhere along this street, unknown to me,

behind a maze of apple trees and stars,

he rises in the small hours, finds a book

and settles at a window or a desk

Sea Canes

Derek Walcott

Half my friends are dead.

I will make you new ones, said earth.

No, give me them back, as they were, instead

with faults and all, I cried.

Severn Song

Philip Gross

The Severn was brown and the Severn was blue

- not this-then-that, not either-or,

no mixture. Two things can be true.

The hills were clouds and the mist was a shore.

Ladies and Gentlemen This is a Horse

Jen Hadfield

Ladies and Gentlemen This is a Horse

as Magritte Might Paint Him

Consider this percheron in the climate-

controlled hold, gimped up for the flight

Cousin Coat

Sean O'Brien

You are my secret coat. You're never dry.

You wear the weight and stink of black canals.

Malodorous companion, we know why

It's taken me so long to see we're pals,

The Underground

Seamus Heaney

There we were in the vaulted tunnel running,

You in your going-away coat speeding ahead

And me, me then like a fleet god gaining

Upon you before you turned to a reed


Carol Ann Duffy

I want to call you thou, the sound

of the shape of the start

of a kiss - like this - thou -

and to say, after, I love,


George Szirtes

It's a baby grand with unexceptionable teeth

And a butterfly wing caught in the net curtain.

When touched it answers gently as a breath

The White Lie

Don Paterson

I have never opened a book in my life,

made love to a woman, picked up a knife,

taken a drink, caught the first train

or walked beyond the last house in the lane.


Alice Oswald

The first to die was PROTESILAUS

A focused man who hurried to darkness

With forty black ships leaving the land behind

Men sailed with him from those flower-lit cliffs


Michael Longley

Here are two pictures from my father’s head

— I have kept them like secrets until now:

First, the Ulster Division at the Somme

Going over the top with ‘Fuck the Pope!’

Her News

Hugo Williams

You paused for a moment and I heard you smoking

on the other end of the line.

I pictured your expression,

one eye screwed shut against the smoke


Ted Hughes

Pike, three inches long, perfect

Pike in all parts, green tigering the gold.

Killers from the egg: the malevolent aged grin.

They dance on the surface among the flies.

The Lover

Don Paterson

Poor mortals, with your horoscopes and blood-tests -

what hope is there for you? Even if the plane

lands you safely, why should you not return

to your home in flames or ruins, your wife absconded,