The Poetry Book Society, founded by revered poet TS Eliot in 1953, has awarded its annual TS Eliot Prize for the best collection of new verse in English first published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland to Sinéad Morrissey for her latest collection, Parallax.
The collection is themed around the idea of change: how our perceptions of the world are altered through time and displacement, and memories are formed and reformed by the imperfections of photographs and other snapshots of the past.
'Politically, historically and personally ambitious, expressed in beautifully turned language, her book is as many-angled and any-angled as its title suggests,' said Ian Duhig, chair of the panel of judges – which also consisted of Imtiaz Dharker and Vicki Feaver.
'It is a meditation on this idea of parallax, looking at things from different angles,' added Feaver. 'This speaks through the whole book.'
Morrissey was shortlisted along with George Szirtes, Michael Symmons Roberts and Anne Carson, who each received £1,000 in prize money, while Morrissey pockets the larger sum of £15,000 – the most substantial prize money of any of the UK's poetry awards.
Earlier this year, Morrissey was made the first Belfast poet laureate by the current Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. Roisín McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, described her at the time as 'an outstanding voice in contemporary poetry'.
Reader of creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University, Morrissey now joins Heaney himself as a winner of one of the most prestigious poetry prizes in the world.