Alumna becomes first poet of Indian origin to win T.S. Eliot Prize

A photo of Bhanu Kapil next to some flowers

Bhanu Kapil has become the first poet of Indian origin to win the coveted T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry in the UK for her collection “How to Wash a Heart”.

Bhanu (Jacasta) Kapil graduated in 1990 with a degree in English. Her collection, which was described by judges as “radical and arresting” and one that “recalibrates what it’s possible for poetry to achieve”, is her first to be published in the UK.

Since 1993, the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry has been awarded annually to the author of best new poetry collection published in the UK. The winner receives £25,000 and it is the only UK poetry prize judged purely by established poets.

This year’s prize also continues the collaboration between the T.S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Archive, with Bhanu’s reading being inducted into the archive and made available online for future generations.

Bhanu has also previously won the Windham Campbell Prize for Poetry (from Yale University) and a Cholmondeley Award (Society of Authors, UK). She is currently an artist by-fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.

You can read more about Bhanu’s work on the T.S. Eliot Foundation website.