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TS Eliot named Britain's favourite poet

8th October 2009

TS Eliot has been voted the UK's favourite poet in a BBC poll to mark National Poetry Day.

The online poll, which was launched as part of the BBC Poetry Season, shortlisted 30 writers and attracted around 18,000 votes.

Eliot took the top spot in a tight final, with John Donne and Benjamin Zephaniah named as the nation's second and third most popular poets.

Alan Yentob, creative director of the BBC and the designated TS Eliot champion, revealed he was 'delighted' that the poet had come first in the poll.

'I have been an admirer of Eliot's poetry since I was a child ... I was bowled over by one of his early poems, The Love Song Of J Alfred Prufrock,' he added.

Yentob said the poll shows British readers are still interested in classic poems, despite the final list including several contemporary writers.

In another event to mark National Poetry Day, children's charity I Can has announced details of a fundraising album of classical verse, with readings provided by celebrities such as Joanna Lumley and Samantha Morton.

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