DAILY POEM ; Ulster poet is second winner of Eliot prize

Paul Muldoon, the celebrated Northern Irish poet, has won the 1994 TS Eliot Prize for poetry, it was announced last night.

The choice of Muldoon as winner from a shortlist of 10 was announced at an Oscars-style ceremony in South Kensington, London. The £5,000 award was presented by Valerie Eliot, T S Eliot's widow, who helps fund the two-year-old prize.

The former BBC radio producer in Northern Ireland was the unanimous choice of the five poets on the judging panel - Elaine Feinstein, Cairan Carson (last year's winner), Candia McWilliam, John Fuller and Robert Crawford.

His success is no surprise. Muldoon was considered a front-runner for his latest edition of poetry, The Annals of Chile, published by Faber and Faber, and has won plaudits since 1972 when he published his first collection, New Weather, at the age of 21.

He beat another tipped front-runner, Kathleen Jamie, along with John Burnside, Eavan Boland, W N Herbert, Geoffrey Lehmann, Tom Paulin, Peter Porter, Hugo Williams and Gerard Woodward.

Ms Feinstein said: "In an exceptionally rich year Paul Muldoon was the unanimous choice of the committee for the energy of his language, the hurtling force of his line and the seemingly effortless spontaneity of his invention."

The son of a farm labourer and market gardener, Muldoon was born in Co Armagh and took his degree at Queen's University, Belfast, where Seamus Heaney was a tutor. He now lives in the United States and teaches at Princeton.

The Annals of Chile is Muldoon's seventh collection. Dedicated to his schoolteacher mother Brigid, it ranges in tone from knockabout comedy to profound grief and includes a poem, The Birth, celebrating the arrival of his daughter.

Seven o' clock. The seventh day of the seventh month of the year No sooner have I got myself up in lime-green scrubs, a sterile cap and mask, and taken my place at the head of the table than the windlass-women ply their shears and gralloch-grub for a footling foot, then, warming to their task, haul into the inestimable realm of apple-blossoms and chanterelles and damsons and eel-spears and foxes and the general hubbub of inkies and jennets and Kickapoos ... Another poem, The Sonogram, explores the same subject: Only a few weeks ago, the sonogram of Jean's womb resembled nothing so much as a satellite-map of Ireland now the image is so well-defined we can make out not only a hand but a thumb; on the road to Spiddal, a woman hitching a ride; a gladiator inhis net, passing judgement on the crowd.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'