Now With More Nodes! Updated Prize Network Maps

In his comments to my last post on “Poetry Prize Networks in the UK“, Neil Astley said my maps ought to have included the Costa Poetry Awards. This had occurred to me when I was putting them together, but I hadn’t been able to track down a proper list of the judges for that prize. Now that I have it, I bring you the updated maps, showing prize nominations 2010-2014 for the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize, and the Costa Poetry Award. There are other substantial improvements, detailed below.

For one, I’ve treated the TSE prizes somewhat differently here, to take account of the involvement of the Poetry Book Society (PBS) in the nomination process. The panel of judges only picks six of the ten nominees directly. The other four are PBS Choice Books, a distinction given to one book each quarter by a group of Selectors. These Selectors are all poets, but since it’s not easy to find out who was a Selector in any given quarter, I’ve had to lump all these semi-anonymous nominators into one entity called PBS Selectors. When the judges picked a PBS Choice poet as the TSE winner, I’ve created an additional “winner” link between them.

Because both the Costa and the Forward include non-poets on their juries, I’ve also gone back and added in full lists of judges for all awards (non-UK nominees are still not represented). The nodes are coloured according to the poet’s publisher. A non-poet receives a “null” for publisher, coloured in black on the graph. Since I don’t always know who PBS Selectors were, they too count as one “null” entity. This also affects the final pie chart, which shows the representation of the publishers in the population making and receiving nominations (n.b. this is a count of nodes/individuals, not edges/nominations).

As before, coloured lines represent nominations, with each prize/year combo receiving its own colour. Thicker lines represent winners. There is now an arrow showing the direction of the nomination (arrow terminates at the nominee). An exception to the line-colour rule occurs when one judge nominates the same person in different competitions. In addition to the two multiple nominations made by Fiona Sampson [see previous post], there are two more, both by Ruth Padel, who nominated both Jo Shapcott and John Burnside for the two awards she judged in 2010 (the Forward and the Costa).

Finally, I’ve only redone the first two network graphs, since I don’t think the third meant very much. Instead, the third chart shows only nodes that have both in and out links, i.e. people who both nominated and were nominated.


1. UK Poetry Prize Nomination Network, nominees highlighted.
Here the larger the node and name, the more nominations a poet has received
[Open this link in a new tab or window (and zoom) to view a very large version of this, with prize labels]

2. UK Poetry Prize Nomination Network, judges highlighted
Here the larger the node and name, the more nominations a judge has made

[Open this link in a new tab or window (and zoom) to view a very large version of this, with prize labels]

3. Poets who are both nominators and nominees
Shows poets who both judged and were nominated. When there is a link between these, the link is labelled with the prize name and year. Arrow shows the direction of the nomination. Size is determined by total number of nominations (as in chart 1).

4. UK Poetry Prize Nomination Network, Publishing Houses


  • Ian Duhig wrote:

    Hi David

    It’s difficult to see, but I don’t understand the nature of all my links here. For example, ‘Drysalter’ was a PBS Choice so I didn’t shortlist it for the Eliot. I’d be grateful to know how I’m connected to those I seem to be here, like Sheenagh Pugh who I’ve never met or sat on the same panel with for any prize.



  • Hi Ian,
    You are only connected to 6 non-PBS nominees for the 2013 TSE prize (mustard brown lines). You are actually not connected to MSR, although it does appear that way. Unfortunately the program rendered the green line from John Burnside to MSR (for the 2013 Costa) as running straight through your purple dot. It shouldn’t have done that – apparently it isn’t as good at avoiding run-throughs as it ought to be (or I haven’t plotted a large enough surface). [UPDATE – This should now be repaired – see my next comment – refresh if it still appears that way]
    PS the Sheenagh Pugh line (magenta) is running to Sinead Morrissey (2013 Forward) which is also the terminus for your 2013 TSE (mustard). So you share a terminus, but not a direct link.

  • Ian Duhig wrote:

    Hi David

    Thanks for the explanations. A pity about the confusion in making a link between me and MSR when there isn’t one due to your program’s error – you’ll recall the enormous fuss surrounding his Forward win and the excitement there has been about such things.

    Are there other people on this diagram who appear to be linked only because of similar program errors? Would they only come to light if the people in question contact you directly as I have done? Given the currency this seems to be enjoying, perhaps you should give them the opportunity to check.



  • Ian Duhig wrote:


    I have put myself down to be notified about follow-up comments by email but wasn’t about your own.

  • I’ve adjusted the the chart so that the line doesn’t intersect your node any more. There shouldn’t be any more of these, although obviously there are some denser areas where it’s hard to follow exactly where lines are going to and coming from.

  • Ian, I’ve linked a large version of graphs 1 and 2, with all the prize labels attached,to allow close inspection of the individual connections. These can be viewed [here] and [here], but need to be opened in a new browser tab or window (and viewed full size).

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