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Monday, 21 January, 2002, 19:27 GMT
Canadian Carson wins Eliot prize
Carson was handed the 10,000 award in London
Carson was handed the 10,000 award in London
Canadian poet and essayist Anne Carson has been named the winner of the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry for 2001.

Ms Carson's "poignant" and "unique" collection The Beauty of the Husband was the best work of new poetry published in the UK and Ireland last year, a panel of poets has decided.

Anne Carson brilliantly maps the death of a marriage in poetry which is by turns tart, lyrical, erotic, plain-spoken and highly charged

Helen Dunmore
Chair of judges
The 10,000 prize, now in its ninth year, has been won by Les Murray, Ted Hughes and Michael Longley in the past.

Ms Carson's poetry describes the death of a marriage through poetry that is "tart, lyrical, erotic, plain-spoken and highly charged", according to Helen Dunmore, chair of the panel of judges.

'Best work'

The cheque was handed over to Ms Carson at a ceremony at London's at Lancaster House, hosted by arts minister Baroness Blackstone, on Monday.

Ms Carson is an acclaimed writer and classics professor whose poetry is informed by Keats's romanticism and quotes the likes of Homer, Jane Austen and Beckett.

The Beauty of the Husband is told in 29 "tangos" and has been hailed by critics as her most welcoming and intimate work to date.

"With Keats as her touchstone, Carson - audacious, funny, poised, and extraordinarily smart - considers our often contradictory needs for beauty and love," said a reviewer in Booklist.

Love of poetry

In 2000, Ms Carson received the MacArthur Fellowship, entitling her to a share of a $500,000 (350,000).

She is also a past winner of the National Book Critics Circle Nominee for Poetry, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Pushcart Prize for Poetry and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The TS Eliot Prize for Poetry is awarded by the Poetry Book Society of which Eliot was a founding member in 1953.

It was established to promote a love and understanding of contemporary poetry.

Special edition

The Society is a membership organisation that keeps poetry lovers around the world informed on the best new English language poetry being published in the UK and Ireland.

As part of her prize, Ms Carson will be presented with a single special edition of the book, bound in Morocco leather.

Last year, Michael Longley was chosen as winner for his collection The Weather in Japan.

The prize is sponsored by internet media and entertainment store

See also:

22 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Japan poems scoop prize
11 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Hughes wins TS Eliot poetry prize
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