TS Eliot Prize

Derek Walcott has this evening been announced as the winner of this year's TS Eliot prize. Walcott was named the victor for his collection White Egrets, which competed against Seamus Heaney's Human Chain and Sam Willett's New Light for the Old Dark, amongst others. 2009 was a notoriously difficult year for Walcott when he found himself the focus of a smear campaign whilst running for the Oxford Chair of Poetry. One of his rivals for the Chair, Ruth Padel, ggrand-daughter of Charles Darwin, was then elected. Days later it emerged Padel had played an instrumental role in the smearing of Walcott and subsequently stepped down. Walcott then upped and left for Essex. Whoever said poetry was boring and genteel?

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