Sinead Morrissey wins TS Eliot for Parallax

I know; its been ages. It's not you - it's me. Really. Can we stay friends? Look, the fact that I've even taken notice of the TS Eliot Prize, announced this evening, means that there's still a flame.


So Dr Sinead Morrissey, creative writing lecturer at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, and Belfast Poet Laureate, receives garlands galore. And £15,000. Not bad. The first book I bought this year was the Forward 2014; and I have yet to read one that's had me by the throat - I've not read them all; barely had time to read my weekly New Yorker let alone anything else. But a sign that I'm reconnecting is that I recently wrote a poem - first in months - a year, even.

I recently heard an acquaintance - a man who's no stranger to high-powered roles - declare that he had accepted a new role. But that he felt only flat. He'd been able to take a year off before then, during which time he had engaged the poet within, and he was now feeling flat because he knew the new role would distinguish the poetry. Maybe it won't - the thing is, unless you're into metaphysical poetry, or feel the need to be consciously intertextual - then, like grass, it will try and find a way through the cracks in the concrete facade of corporate life. Allowing the emotional connection and the breath deep enough to bring us to the bottom of the well that grounds us, is often enough.

I am very fortunate that I see my Welsh wizard weekly; a strong old bear of a man who is also one of the few male feminists I know, despite also providing emotional coaching to boxers! I dedicated my intro to Miss Nobody to him. Talking about Miss Nobody, I have decided to do more given that the national books sections didn't cover the republication (except the trusty old TLS and the sincere engagement of Michael Caines). I'm writing a longer piece for Review31, and will post link here when it's ready.

More soon.

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