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Joelle Taylor Is Announced The Winner Of TS Eliot Poetry Prize 2021

Joelle Taylor is announced the winner of the 2021 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize with her counterculture poetry collection titled "C+nto & Othered Poems"



Joelle Taylor


TS Eliot Prize For Poetry



Joelle Taylor is announced the winner of the 2021 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize with her counterculture poetry collection titled "C+nto & Othered Poems". Joelle Taylor's collection was showered with praises by the prize judges for sharing her experiences of being a butch lesbian.


"C+nto & Othered Poems" is a mix of memoir and conjecture that reveals the underground communities forged by women where they could reclaim their bodies as their own. It is also Taylor's fourth collection. Joelle Taylor is a poet, spoken word artist, playwright and novelist. She is a former UK slam champion and founder and artistic director of the Poetry Society’s national solo youth slam SLAMbassadors UK.


Other poetry collection that shared almost the same side with Taylor's poetry collection before the announcement of the winner of the €25,000 prize were Raymond Antrobus, Selima Hill and Michael Symmons Roberts.


Undeniably, TS Eliot Poetry Prize is one of the most anticipated annual poetry prize among writers and has then attained a prestigious place among the British literary prizes. It is run by the TS Eliot Foundation, the award is the most valuable prize in British poetry, and the only one judged purely by established poets. 


Glyn Maxwell, who selected the winner along with Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial also shared their thoughts while selecting the winning entry,

"The arguments towards the end were passionate and thoughtful, but the choice of the judging panel is Joelle Taylor’s C+nto and Othered Poems, a blazing book of rage and light, a grand opera of liberation from the shadows of indifference and oppression.

The winning collection was pretty autobiographical, about her life as a butch lesbian, and the hostility she suffered as a kid in a conventional family.

But then there’s also imaginative renderings of nightlife – of lesbian clubs, some of which are kind of hellish and some of which are heavenly. It’s kind of enraged, but it’s this sort of rage which generates light, and it’s a really vivid read – it’s quite something."


She continues,

“Joelle originates in performance. This collection proves that at the top level, there’s very little difference between that, and what’s on the page.

It is important that we preserve our history,” she writes. “I interviewed other butch lesbians from that era, and together we began to construct a simple story: exile, friendship, grief, love, courage and threat.”


Taylor's C+nto was published by Westbourne Press and has been described as “visionary and powerful” by Hollie McNish, and as “one of the most astonishing and original poetry collections of recent years” by Bernardine Evaristo in the New Statesman. 


Congratulations To Joelle Taylor!



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Pawners Paper: Joelle Taylor Is Announced The Winner Of TS Eliot Poetry Prize 2021
Joelle Taylor Is Announced The Winner Of TS Eliot Poetry Prize 2021
Joelle Taylor is announced the winner of the 2021 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize with her counterculture poetry collection titled "C+nto & Othered Poems"
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