The T.S. Eliot Prize, described by Andrew Motion as ‘the Prize most poets want to win’, is one of the world’s most prestigious poetry awards. Awarded annually for the best new collection of poetry published in the UK and Ireland, its esteemed alumni includes Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Sharon Olds, Alice Oswald and Ocean Vuong. In an exciting new collaboration between Cheltenham and the T.S. Eliot Prize, we welcome the 2020 winning poet Bhanu Kapil to read from her lauded collection How to Wash a Heart and are joined by poet and current Chair of Judges Glyn Maxwell for a reading from his latest collection How the Hell are You? and to exclusively reveal the shortlisted poets for the 2021 Prize.

Bhanu Kapil will now be appearing digitally.

Books available to accompany this event

Click the book cover below to buy now
from our Waterstones Cheltenham Literature Festival bookshop.
Every purchase supports Cheltenham Festivals.

How to Wash a Heart


Cheltenham Town Hall, Pillar Room

The Town Hall, situated on Imperial Gardens in the centre of Cheltenham comprises of a Grand Main Hall, distinguished by its Corinthian styles columns and coved ceiling. The Main Hall is accompanied by dining and drawing rooms, as well as the Pillar Room bar.

The venue’s early 20th century Edwardian elegance makes it the classic ‘shoebox’ concert hall. With a seating capacity of 900, the Town Hall is perfectly suited to grand symphony orchestra performances with a thrilling impact.


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