Bath Spa PhD student shortlisted for prestigious T.S.Eliot Prize

26 October 2012 10:11:00

Sean Borodale, a PhD Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University has been shortlisted for the prestigious T.S.Eliot Prize, one of the most important poetry prizes in the UK.

Sean has been shortlisted for his first collection of poems ‘Bee Journal’, a poem journal which tells the life of a bee hive. He has been shortlisted alongside major names including Simon Armitage, Sharon Olds and Kathleen Jamie. This is a remarkable achievement for a newly published poet.

The T.S.Eliot Prize for poetry was established in 1993 by the Poetry Book Society to honour its founder. It is regarded as the most prestigious and valuable prize in the UK for poetry. Previous winners include Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Ted Hughes.

Judges Carol Ann Duffy, Michael Longley and David Morley chose six collections from 131 submissions, and a further four collections were selected by the Poetry Book Society, making up a shortlist of 10 poets. The winner will be presented with a cheque for £15,000, donated by Mrs Valerie Eliot, and each of the shortlisted poets will receive £1,000.

David Harsent, newly appointed Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa said: “The T.S.Eliot Prize is considered one of the most prestigious awards for poetry - not just in the UK, but internationally. Sean Borodale's outstanding first collection, 'Bee Journal' makes him a worthy candidate for this year's prize. His shortlisting is further evidence of the strength and depth of the Bath Spa University Creative Writing programme.”

Course Leader Richard Kerridge added: “We are delighted. Sean's book deserves this recognition. It is original, powerful and subtle - a poetic journal of beekeeping, starting with the arrival of the bees and telling their story with intense, exact observation and strong undercurrents of feeling."

The winner of the Prize will be announced at an award ceremony on Monday 14 January 2013. More information is available at