English poet Jacob Polley wins £20,000 TS Eliot prize

Jacob Polley

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Jacob Polley was born in Cumbria in 1975

English writer Jacob Polley has won the prestigious £20,000 TS Eliot Prize.

The Carlisle-born poet won for his new collection Jackself, which the judges called “a firework of a book”.

Polley, who has penned four poetry collections, was presented with the award at a ceremony in London.

Others in the running included English writers Denise Riley and Ruby Robinson, Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo, Scottish poet J O Morgan and Irish poet Bernard O’Donoghue.

Also on the shortlist were British poets Rachael Boast, Ian Duhig, Alice Oswald and Katharine Towers. The shortlisted poets all received £1,500.

Head judge Ruth Padel said: “All three judges were agonised by choosing between such brilliant books.

“But the winning collection, Jacob Polley’s Jackself, is a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling.”

Previous winners of the prize have included Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and former poet laureates Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy.

Last year’s winner was Sarah Howe for her debut collection Loop of Jade.

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