School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Jacob Polley

Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Background

Introduction


Jacob Polley was born and grew up in Cumbria. After studying at the University of Lancaster, where he received a BA and an MA, he worked in various jobs, going freelance in 2000, when he became poet in residence at the News and Star newspaper in Carlisle.


Jacob has published four books of poetry with Picador, UK – The Brink, Little Gods, The Havocs and Jackself – and a novel – Talk of the Town. Jackself won the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry, The Havocs (2012) the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and Talk of the Town the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. In 2001, Jacob received an Eric Gregory Award as well as the BBC Radio 4/Arts Council ‘First Verse’ Award, and he was also chosen as one of the 2004 ‘Next Generation’ of British poets. Jacob has been poet in residence for Arts Queensland, Australia (2011) and at the Wordsworth Trust (2002), and from 2005-07 was the Visiting Fellow Commoner in the Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge.


With Ian Fenton, he co-wrote the short films, Flickerman and the Ivory-skinned Woman (2001) and Keeping House (2015), and he has fulfilled commissions to make several large-scale collaborative installation or musical pieces, including ‘The Recollection Rooms’ (2005), which was part of English Heritage’s ‘Picture House’ exhibition at Belsay Hall, ‘Bathtime’ (2011) at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum, and ‘Ballads of Blood’ (2013), which was part of the London Sinfonietta/Jerwood Blue Touch Paper bursary scheme. He recently completed a commissioned poem that has been set in stone at the site of the new student accommodation development on the East Sands, St Andrews.


Jacob is working on various pieces of fiction, non-fiction and radio drama. He continues to make work with the theatre designer, Imogen Cloët, with whom he’s collaborated for several years, and with the film-maker and writer, Ian Fenton. He is also working with Dr Chris Jones, at the University of St Andrews, on a modern reconfiguring of the Anglo-Saxon riddles from the Exeter Book. He regularly broadcasts and publishes poems, essays and short stories.


Previous Positions
Jacob was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the University of St Andrews (2010-15).

Research

Research Interests


Contemporary British poetry; contemporary fiction and non-fiction; collaboration.


Teaching

2016/17: Degree Programme Director: MA in Creative Writing

2015/16: Degree Programme Director: Writing Poetry MA


Publications