TS Eliot prize won by Belfast Laureate Sinead Morrissey

Sinead Morrissey Morrissey was made Belfast's first Poet Laureate in 2013

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Sinead Morrissey, the inaugural Belfast Laureate, has won this year's TS Eliot prize for poetry for her collection Parallax.

It is the fourth time Morrissey has been shortlisted for the £15,000 prize, first presented in 1993.

Chair of judges Ian Duhig called her work "politically, historically and personally ambitious".

Morrissey was born in 1972 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland and is the author of five poetry collections.

The 41-year-old was previously shortlisted in 2002, 2005 and 2009 for the prize, organised by the Poetry Book Society.

"In a year of brilliantly themed collections, the judges were unanimous in choosing Sinead Morrissey's Parallax as the winner," Duhig said.

The pieces in Parallax, he continued, were "expressed in beautifully turned language", resulting in a work "as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests".

Parallax was also shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best Collection but lost out to Michael Symmons Roberts's Drysalter.

T S ELIOT PRIZE SHORTLIST 2013

  • Dannie Abse - Speak, Old Parrot
  • Moniza Alvi - At the Time of Partition
  • Anne Carson - Red Doc>
  • Sinead Morrissey - Parallax
  • Helen Mort - Division Street
  • Daljit Nagra - Ramayana: A Retelling
  • Maurice Riordan - The Water Stealer
  • Robin Robertson - Hill of Doors
  • Michael Symmons Roberts - Drysalter
  • George Szirtes - Bad Machine

Drysalter was also shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize, alongside collections by such poets as Helen Mort, Daljit Nagra and Robin Robertson.

In its review in September, the Guardian said: "Parallax is something of a treasure trove, the visual and aural equivalent of a child's feely-bag."

Morrissey, who has said she does not regard herself as either a nationalist or a unionist despite being interested in politics, was appointed Belfast Laureate in July.

In her post, she is expected to try and engage the public in poetry.

"Belfast is a city with an extraordinary literary tradition, especially in relation to poetry," she said last year.

"I am excited to celebrate and explore further both the city and poetry in the year ahead."

The prize, donated by the TS Eliot Trustees, was presented in central London on 13 January. Each of the shortlisted poets received £1,000.

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