We are excited to announce that Newcastle University lecturer Tara Bergin has been shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize.
Tara Bergin’s second collection The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx (Carcanet Press, 2017) has been shortlisted for the prestigious prize. Bergin’s debut collection This is Yarrow (Carcanet Press, 2013) won both the Shine/Strong Poetry Award and the Seamus Heaney Award in 2014.
The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx pivots around the figure of its namesake, a socialist and feminist pioneer, and the sixth child of Karl Marx. Following the footsteps of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, whose story she translated into English, Eleanor Marx poisoned herself because of her tormented love with fellow socialist Edward Aveling. Bergin’s poems reflect the strength and fragility of Marx’s feelings by adopting the powerful symbolism of flowers, apt to represent sensuality and purity, love and hatred, life and death.
To mark its 25th anniversary, this year the T.S. Eliot Prize will award £25,000 to its winner, and £1,500 to each of the shortlisted poets. Previous winners of the award include Senior Lecturer Jacob Polley in 2016 with Jackself, NCLA director Sinéad Morrissey with Parallax in 2013, and Professor Sean O’Brien with The Drowned Book in 2007.
Also shortlisted this year is James Sheard for Abandoned Settlements (Cape, 2017), a tale of split loves and haunting affections, that explores the depth of human interactions in ‘a formidable variety of ways’. NCLA hosts a reading with James Sheard on November 30th, who will appear alongside Pascale Petit.
Congratulations to all of the shortlisted poets. The full list of shortlisted authors can be found here.