Manchester poet wins prestigious TS Eliot Prize

The University of Manchester’s Jason Allen-Paisant has been named the winner of the UK’s most prestigious poetry award, the TS Eliot Prize.

Jason’s collection Self-Portrait As Othello explores Black masculinity and immigrant identity. The Jamaican poet, who is a Senior Lecturer in Critical Theory & Creative Writing at the University’s Centre for New Writing, was announced as this year’s winner during last night’s ceremony at the Wallace Collection in London.

“Self-Portrait As Othello is a book with large ambitions that are met with great imaginative capacity, freshness and technical flair,” said the judging panel, made up of the poets Paul Muldoon, Sasha Dugdale and Denise Saul.

The award follows on from Jason winning the Forward Prize for Best Collection last October, and the book has also since been shortlisted for the Writers’ Prize.

The TS Eliot Prize shortlist also featured Centre for New Writing graduate Joe Carrick-Varty, who was recognised for his debut collection, More Sky.

Jason’s collection is published by Manchester-based Carcanet Press, a publisher with a long association with the University, through the John Rylands Research Institute Library, and is run by Professor John McAuliffe and Professor Michael Schmidt, who also teach at the Centre for New Writing.

His first collection, Thinking With Trees, was published in 2021. His non-fiction book, Scanning the Bush, will be published later this year.

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