Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing
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.
Jacob was a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at the University of St Andrews (2010-15).
Contemporary British poetry; contemporary fiction and non-fiction; collaboration.
2016/17: Degree Programme Director: MA in Creative Writing
2015/16: Degree Programme Director: Writing Poetry MA
- Polley J. Jackself. Picador/Pan Macmillan, 2016.
- Polley Jacob. The Havocs. London: Picador/Pan Macmillan, 2012.
- Polley Jacob. Talk of the Town. London: Picador/Pan Macmillan, 2009.
- Polley Jacob. Little Gods. London: Picador/Pan Macmillan, 2006.
- Polley Jacob. The Brink. London: Picador/Pan Macmillan, 2003.
- Polley J. The House that Jack Built. Poetry (Chicago) 2016. Poetry Foundation, 208(5), 450-453.
- Polley J. Three poems: The Lofts, Snow Dad and Applejack. The Poetry Review 2016. The Poetry Society, 106(3: Autumn, 2016), 22-27.
- Polley J. Two poems: Every Creeping Thing and Lessons. Bare Fiction 2016. Bare Fiction, (8), 4-5.
- Polley J. Two poems: Hemix and The Commission. Poetry London 2016. Spring 2016(83).
- Polley J. Jackself's Quality. Hwaet!: 20 Years of Ledbury Poetry Festival 2016. Bloodaxe Books, 204.
- Polley J. A Potion. 2015. BBC Radio 4.
- Polley J. 'Jackself's Quality' and 'Nickname': collaborative commission for BBC Radio 3, The Verb, Free Thinking Festival. 2015.
- Polley J, I Fenton. Keeping House. 2015.
- Polley J. 'Omphalos' ['Lonning'] and 'Elfred'. The Poetry Review 2015. Poetry Society, 105, No.1, Spring 2015, 6.
- Polley J. 'The Ruin' on We British: National Poetry Day on BBC Radio 4. 2015.
- Polley J. Home. In: Groark, Vona, ed. Poetry Ireland Review. Dublin, Ireland: Poetry Ireland, 2014, pp.66-67.
- Polley J. Langley Lane. In: Motion, A, ed. Poetry by Heart: Poems for Learning and Reciting. London: Viking, 2014.
- Polley J. Nightlines, Jack O'Lantern, Swimmer. The Poetry Review 2014. The Poetry Society, 104(2).
- Polley J. The Cheapjack. The Best of Poetry London: Poetry and Prose 1988-2013 2014. Carcanet Press Ltd, 1.
- Polley J. Cuirt Festival, Galway. 2017. Galway: An Taibhdhearc, 45 mins.
- Polley J. Jacob Polley and John Alder perform part of Jackself at Poems as Songs (part of the Newcastle Poetry Festival). 2017. Gateshead: Sage, 25 mins.
- Polley J. Reading at Laugharne Weekend. 2017. Laugharne: Congregational Church, 25 mins.
- Polley J. Reading Workshop at Camelford. 2017. Camelford, UK: Old Bank, 5 hours.
- Polley J. Two Poems: Caedmon's Hymn and Poor Bob's Hymn. 2017. Gateshead, UK: Freethinking Festival at Sage for BBC Radio 3's 'The Verb'45 mins.
- Polley J. Two poems: 'The Snow Prince' and 'O'. Smartish Pace 2017. Smartish Pace Inc, (24), 64-65.
- Polley J. Jacob Polley and John Alder perform Jackself. 2016. Newcastle University: Culture Lab, NCLA, 1 hour.
- Polley J. Ledbury Poetry Festival Poet in Residence. 2016. Ledbury, UK: Various, 3 days.
- Polley J. Reading at the Print Room. 2016. London, UK: The Print Room at the Coronet Theatre, 25 mins.
- Polley J. Reading at Topping and Co., St Andrews. 2016. St Andrews, UK: Topping and Co., Booksellers.