Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Phillip Gross wins TS Eliot poetry prize

Phillip Gross

Philip Gross has won the 2009 TS Eliot Poetry Prize for his collection The Water Table, it has been announced.

The 57-year-old, who was born in Cornwall, will receive a £15,000 cash prize, the largest in British poetry.

The Water Table was inspired by the Bristol Channel, drawing out connections with mystery, depth, and the man-made world.

Simon Artimage, chair of the prize's judging panel, praised Gross's "great clarity and concentration".


"Gross takes us from Great Flood to subtly invoked concerns for our watery planet; this is a mature and determined book, dream-like in places, but dealing ultimately with real questions of human existence," Armitage added.

Born in Cornwall in 1952, Gross has published numerous books, plays and poems and in 1982 won the National Poetry Competition.

In 2004, he was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan.

Other shortlisted authors this year included Sinead Morrissey and 1999 prize-winner Hugo Williams. They each receive a cheque for £1,000, donated by Eliot's widow, Valerie Eliot.

The Prize was first awarded in 1993 to celebrate the Poetry Book Society's 40th birthday and its founder, TS Eliot, who died in 1965.

Last year, Jen Hadfield won the prize for Nigh-No-Place.

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