Indian-origin author-poet, Bhanu Kapil, is among 10 shortlisted artists for this year’s T.S. Eliot Prize, named after the renowned 20th-century American-British poet.
Kapil, who was born in England and grew up in London, made the cut with ‘How to Wash a Heart’, which explores the relationship between an immigrant guest and a citizen host.
The writer, who lives between the UK and US, where she spent 21 years at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, has six books of poetry/prose to her credit, including ‘The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers’, ‘Schizophrene’ and ‘Ban en Banlieue’.
Earlier this year, she won the coveted American award, the Windham-Campbell Prize, in the poetry category in recognition of her literary achievements.
“The impact of receiving the Windham-Campbell Prize during a global pandemic is life-changing and life-supporting for myself and my family. I hope that I can use whatever relief or good that comes from having won such an honor to be of service, on-going, to those in more vulnerable situations than my own,” she said at the time.
‘How to Wash a Heart’ is her first full-length collection to be published in the UK and is drawn from a performance in London last year. It has been praised for using poetry as a mode of interrogation.
“In a time of increasing hostility against migrants, Kapil demonstrates how survival tunes the guest to its host with devastating intimacy,” notes publisher Liverpool University Press, in reference to the work shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
The prize, described as the most valuable prize in British poetry and the only major poetry prize judged purely by established poets, comes with a winner’s cheque for GBP 25,000. The shortlisted poets are presented with cheques for GBP 1,500 each.