Jason Allen-Paisant, a Senior Lecturer in Critical Theory & Creative Writing at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, has been awarded the prestigious TS Eliot Prize for his poetry collection, titled “Self-Portrait As Othello.” This Jamaican poet delves into themes of Black masculinity and immigrant identity, displaying immense imagination and technical talent. The judges, consisting of poets Paul Muldoon, Sasha Dugdale, and Denise Saul, praised the collection’s ambitious nature and its ability to captivate readers. Jason’s achievement comes after he won the Forward Prize for Best Collection last year, and his book has also been shortlisted for the Writers’ Prize.
Joe Carrick-Varty, a graduate of the Centre for New Writing, was also recognized on the TS Eliot Prize shortlist for his debut collection, “More Sky.” Both Jason and Joe have strong ties to Carcanet Press, a Manchester-based publisher associated with the University through the John Rylands Research Institute Library. The publisher is led by Professor John McAuliffe and Professor Michael Schmidt, who also teach at the Centre for New Writing.
Jason’s talent extends beyond poetry, as he previously published his first collection, “Thinking With Trees,” in 2021. Furthermore, he has a forthcoming non-fiction book titled “Scanning the Bush,” set to be released later this year.