Visiting College of the Atlantic Professor of Poetry Tim Liardet.Visiting College of the Atlantic Professor of Poetry Tim Liardet.

Tim Liardet, a visiting professor at College of the Atlantic during the fall 2015 term, has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize for his collection of poetry The World Before Snow. The work is Professor Liardet’s tenth collection of poetry and marks his second time on the shortlist, having been previously nominated for his collection The Blood Choir.

“It is very exciting to be on such a great list, and, after the long hours of writing the book, very moving to have it so much out in the world,” said Liardet, who is a full-time poetry professor at Bath Spa University in the U.K. “Being shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, for a poet, is the definitive affirmation. I am grateful to the distinguished panel of judges.”

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. This year’s judges are Pascale Petit, Kei Miller, and Ahren Warner who selected the ten shortlisted books from over 142 entries.

“This is a fantastic year for poetry, with the highest amount of entries submitted in the history of the prize, and an exceptional number of outstanding collections, including many dazzling debuts,” Petit said. “This made our task of choosing the shortlist tricky - many that didn’t make it are books we love. But we were unanimous about our final list, the books my distinguished fellow judges and I picked all awed and excited us with their ambition, verve and technical mastery.”

The readings for this year’s Prize will take place at the Royal Festival Hall in January 2016, and the prize of £20,000 will be awarded in the courtyard of the exquisite Wallace Collection in Central London.

The Prize was funded by T.S. Eliot’s widow, Valerie Eliot, until her death in 2013, and is now supported by the trustees of the Eliot estate. Previous winners include Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott and Ted Hughes.


From The World Before Snow by Tim Liardet, published by Carcanet Press 

Cover of The World Before Snow, by Tim LiardetThe snowstorm came down, it blew across Boston,
it said all roads behind you are closed for good;
when mass collides with mass and crawls lower,

when snow falls for forty-eight hours, you have to stop.
It blew. It billowed. Such weight of snow to stop
everything in its tracks. Stop, said the snowstorm,

set out, when I abate, from here. Stop, and watch
the whole of me blow in silence through the glass.
The tumbler knocked from the table by mistake,

it said, is yet to reach the foyer’s marble floor.
The body of whomsoever is dumped headlong
will fall but never reach the bottom of the well…

My plane touched down on time, your train was held up
which meant it got in as my plane touched down.
Some fluke of clockwork meant my chronograph ran

as many seconds fast as yours was running slow.
We were booked into the same room by clerical error
under the same name, which was neither of our names.