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16 January 2012updated 27 Sep 2015 4:04am

John Burnside wins the T S Eliot prize

The New Statesman nature columnist wins major poetry award

By Sophie Elmhirst

The celebrations begin again for John Burnside, the poet and novelist (and New Statesman nature writer), who has tonight been awarded the T S Eliot prize for his collection, Black Cat Bone. The book also won the Forward Prize for best collection last year.

Gillian Clarke, chair of the judges, said: “John Burnside’s Black Cat Bone is a haunting book of great beauty, powered by love, childhood memory, human longing and loneliness. In an exceptional year, it is an outstanding book, one which the judges felt grew with every reading.”

Also on the shortlist were Carol Ann Duffy, Leontia Flynn, David Harsent, Esther Morgan, Daljit Nagra, Sean O’Brien and Bernard O’Donoghue.

Burnside has written frequently for the New Statesman in recent months, including the first contributions to our new Nature column, and as part of the magazine’s new weekly poetry series. You can read his poem, “Pink footed geese at Over Kellie”, here.

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