Leader: Burnside’s night

Hearty congratulations to John Burnside, poet, author and NS nature columnist. Not content with one major poetry accolade - he won the Forward Prize in October last year - Burnside has just been awarded the T S Eliot Prize for his eleventh collection, Black Cat Bone. His fellow poet Gillian Clarke described it as "a haunting book of great beauty, powered by love, childhood memory, human longing and loneliness". Burnside was surprised to win, and delighted by the £15,000 reward: "My studio roof blew off in the cold corner of Scotland where I live, so this is very welcome indeed," he said on the night of the award. Look out for Burnside's nature column, which appears regularly in our Backpages.

This article first appeared in the 23 January 2012 issue of the New Statesman, Has the Arab Spring been hijacked?