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Philip Gross scoops 2009 T.S. Eliot Prize

19th January 2010

University professor Philip Gross has been named as the winner of the 2009 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for The Water Table.

The 57-year-old saw off competition from a shortlist that included Christopher Reid's Costa Poetry Prize-winning A Scattering to take home the GBP 15,000 cheque.

Poet Simon Armitage, chair of the prize's judging panel, said The Water Table, which is inspired by the Severn estuary, is a collection of 'great clarity and concentration'.

'This is a mature and determined book, dream-like in places, but dealing ultimately with real questions of human existence,' he commented.

Gross has published several other volumes of poetry, including The Egg of Zero and Mappa Mundi, as well as novels such as The Storm Garden and The Lastling.

The prize is run by the Poetry Book Society, which was established by Eliot in 1953, and has been won by several of the UK's leading writers, including Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy and Ted Hughes.

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