Morgan shortlisted for poetry prize

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The Independent Online

Scotland's Poet Laureate, Edwin Morgan, has been shortlisted for the UK's most prestigious poetry prize for a collection exploring what it means to grow old. At 87, Morgan is the oldest poet to be nominated for the £15,000 T S Eliot Prize, which rewards collections published in Britain over the past year.

A Book of Lives includes poems on cancer and homosexual love, verse written to mark specific events including the opening of the Scottish Parliament, a history of the world from 20 billion BC to AD2300 and a set of songs for the rock group Idlewild.

Morgan, who suffers from prostate cancer, now lives in a nursing home in Broomhill, in his native Glasgow.

Peter Porter, who chairs the judging panel, said: "Morgan is one of the most adventurous of poets. A lot of people talk about poetry as though it's all a matter of feeling. It's a matter of skill and technical facility and he has enormous technical facility."

At the other end of the age spectrum, the youngest poet shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize is 25-year-old Frances Leviston, who is nominated for her first collection of poetry, Public Dream. The prize will be presented by Valerie Eliot, the poet's widow, at the Wallace Collection in London on 14 January 2008.

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