TS Eliot prize row: is winner too young, beautiful - and Chinese?
Poet Sarah Howe’s 2016 TS Eliot prize win has been questioned by a sexist and sceptical literary press, but as the activity around the #derangedpoetess hashtag shows, we poets have had enough
Thring may not be much of a poetry reader – of course he wants to talk about her husband and the furnishings. But facts are easy to check: Howe really is a Renaissance scholar, and her PhD really was on this subject – it doesn’t need quotation marks. And if hyperreality and interleavings are a wordy ‘pummeling’, one hopes for Mr Thring’s sake that Sir Geoffrey Hill or Jeremy Prynne never wins a big prize.
The author’s claim not to be sexist wasn’t exactly helped by his tweet: 'This gentle interview with a leading young poet has led various deranged poetesses to call me thick, sexist etc’. Here’s the thing: people who don’t belittle women also don’t use the term ‘poetesses’.