Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Jacob Polley wins the TS Eliot Prize

This year's TS Eliot Prize has been won by Cumbrian poet Jacob Polley, for his collection Jackself (Picador). He beat a strong shortlist, including Alice Oswald, Denise Riley, Vahni Capildeo, Ian Duhig and Bernard O'Donoghue.

It's not a book I've read yet. When Polley's first collection came out, to much fanfare, I was a member of the Poetry Book Society and was sent it as one of their quarterly choices, and I'd have to say I was pretty underwhelmed. Not that it was at all bad, just that it didn't seem nearly as exciting as some of the critical notices were promising it would be.

Because of that, I haven't got round to reading any of his subsequent collections. My loss, I suspect, if the poems I've seen from this latest book are anything to go by. Chair of judges Ruth Padel compared it to Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns, and that particular masterpiece did spring to mind for me, too. Which can only be a good thing, I should add. I look forward to reading it.

You can read a couple of poems from the book here, and also hear him read them.

There's a really excellent account of the prize readings here, by poet Peter Daniels.

1 comment:

Poetry Pleases! said...

Dear Matt

I don't know much about Jacob Polley and I didn't follow the TS Eliot prize participants at all last year. However, I did accurately predict to my wife Rusty that the winning poet would probably be published by Picador.

Best wishes from Simon R Gladdish