I was a little irritated at the coverage of the Costa Prize for Poetry, as it appeared to be predicated on the assumption that all poetry prizes are by right to be won by Seamus Heaney, and that something broken has happened when some guy wins it for a long poem (suspicious!) that has to do with Nigeria (suspiciouser!) and published by ‘a small Welsh press’ (suspiciousest!).
It seemed proper to explain that they don’t just hand out to poetry prizes to Heaney by default; that they don’t engrave the cup the moment he publishes; it’s not like the panel go to the Cross Keys, have a chat about Celeb BB over a pint, then scribble Heaney’s name on a bit paper and stuff it in the golden envelope.(*)
Anyway, congratulations to Seamus Heaney on winning the TS Eliot prize for poetry.
(* I don’t really know how any of this works. Are there trophies? Are there envelopes? Do they get Jimmy Carr to host the ceremony? If the answer to all these questions is ‘no’, then I think I’ve cracked the longstanding puzzle of poetry’s declining popularity.)