Jacob Polley

Jacob Polley was born and grew up in Cumbria. He has published four books of poems, winning the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry for his fourth collection, Jackself. He was also awarded the 2013 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for The Havocs, and the Somerset Maugham Award for his debut novel, Talk of the Town (2009). Jacob teaches at Newcastle University and lives with his family on the northeast coast of England.


Photo: Mai Lin Li


Five O’Clock Verses »

Reading: Rita Ann Higgins, Jacob Polley

Thu 8 March | 17:00 - 18:00 | £6.50/£4.50 | Parliament Hall, South Street


An Age

Jackself is staying in
today, like a tool in a toolbox
to try to just be
high in the lovely lofts
of Lamonby
he stands at a cracked
window watching the gulls
flash and snap, like washing on a line

     in the pale heat
the wormy heartwood floorboards
swell and creak

     he stands for an age
                 not for a dark age,
not for an ice age or an iron age, but for a
pollen age, when bees
browsed the workshops
of wildflowers for powder
of light, and the cables
of a spider’s web were dusted with gold
by the unreceptacled breeze

Jacob Polley

From Jackself (Picador, 2016)