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TS Eliot prize announces 'intensely political' shortlist

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Prestigious £25,000 award selects 10 collections showcasing ‘poetry’s ability to engage with language when it is being debased’

A sequence of sonnets written during the first 200 days of Donald Trump’s presidency is just one of the “intensely political” poetry collections shortlisted for the most valuable award in British poetry, the £25,000 TS Eliot prize.

American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, in which the award-winning US poet Terrance Hayes tackles the fast-moving news cycle of American politics, is one of 10 collections contending for the award. Alongside it, US poet laureate Tracy K Smith considers the country’s past in Wade in the Water, named after a spiritual sung on the Underground Railroad, former winner Sean O’Brien considers England’s relationship with its continental neighbours in Europa, and Nick Laird takes on topics from Grenfell Tower to the refugee crisis in Feel Free.

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