Anthony Joseph

Anthony Joseph was declared the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry 2022 in a ceremony in London, UK on Monday, January 16, 2023.

The T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry was inaugurated to celebrate the UK Poetry Book Society’s 40th birthday and honour its founding poet in 1993. T.S. Eliot, full name Thomas Stearns Eliot had the poetry collections Prufrock and Other Observations (1917), Ara Vos Prec (London), and Poems: 1920 (New York). The United States born poet, who passed away in 1965, was also an essayist, publisher, playwright, and literary and social critic. It is awarded annually to the author of the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland. Previous winners include Derek Walcott (2010), John Burnside (2011), Sharon Olds (2012), Sinéad Morrissey (2013), David Harsent (2014) Sarah Howe (2015), Jacob Polley (2016), Ocean Vuong (2017), and Hannah Sullivan (2018).

The 2022 prize was judged by a panel of Jean Sprackland (Chair), Hannah Lowe, and Roger Robinson who announced the shortlist on October 13.  Anthony Joseph’s Sonnets for Albert (Bloomsbury Poetry) was revealed to be the winner at a ceremony at the Southbank Centre in London on Monday evening. It is. The evening included readings of poetry from the shortlisted poets.

Chair of judges Jean Sprackland said, “each of the shortlisted books spoke powerfully to us in its own distinctive voice. From this strong field, our choice is Sonnets for Albert, a luminous collection which celebrates humanity in all its contradictions and breathes new life into this enduring form.”

Anthony Joseph gets a cash prize of £20,000, with each of the nine runners-up receiving £1500 each. The other writers of African descent on the shortlist were Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Denise Saul, and Yomi Ṣode.

Watch the ceremony in full below;