Jacob Polley wins the 2016 T S Eliot Poetry Prize


17 January 2017
jackself-78817.jpg Jackself
Jacob was awarded the leading poetry prize for his fourth collection, Jackself


Jacob was awarded the leading poetry prize for his fourth collection, Jackself

Carlisle-born Jacob has been shortlisted for the prize twice before, for The Brink (2003) and The Havocs (2012). Jackself is a loosely autobiographical work based on a rural childhood in Cumbria. 'Jacob Polley’s Jackself is a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling,' said chair of judges Ruth Padel at a ceremony at the Wallace Collection gallery in London last night.

Jackself and Jeremy Wren are setting
nightlines in the kidney-coloured pool
all the streams of England run into
    Jackself’s fretting
       all night the guiled
will hang, their hooked lips
mouthing into the waterworks and bloodstreams
of all England
    all night, gaffed,
their bullion flexing
until Jeremy Wren
Bashes them at dawn with his hardwood priest
who says his grandad built the southern domes
Jesus needed to stable His beasts,
thinks Jackself’s a soft-lad, a quick-
tear, a worry-wit,
and ties off another triple-barbed spinner

This poem is from Jackself, published by Picador.

The T S Eliot Poetry Prize is the UK's richest poetry award, with a £20,000 prize for the winner and each shortlisted poet, £1,500. Since the closure of the Poetry Book Society, the T S Eliot Foundation has taken over the running of the prize.

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