Sharon Olds has become the first female American poet to win the prestigious T S Eliot Prize for poetry.
Stag’s Leap, which intimately explores the end of marriage, was selected from 131 submissions to clinch the £15,000 award.
The T S Eliot Prize, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary, is considered the most valuable and prestigious of its kind in the UK for a new collection of poetry.
This year’s all-poet judging panel included poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Longley and David Morely.
Presenting the award at the Wallace Collection, Duffy said: “My fellow judges Michael Longley, David Morely and I were proud of the freshness, skill and authority exhibited in this year’s shortlist.
“From over 130 collections we were particularly impressed by the strong presence of women on the list and were unanimous in awarding the 2012 T S Eliot Prize to Sharon Olds’ Stag’s Leap, a tremendous book of grace and gallantry which crowns the career of a world class poet.”
The shortlist, each of which received £1,000, featured: Simon Armitage, Sean Borodale, Gillian Clarke, Paul Farley, Jorie Graham, Kathleen Jamie, Jacob Polley, Deryn Rees-Jones and Julia Copus, whose poetry and writing has featured in the New Statesman.