Jacob Polley has won the 2016 TS Eliot prize with Jackself, a collection described by the judges as “a firework of a book”.

The loosely autobiographical poems use the “Jack” of nursery rhyme and local legend to tell the story of a childhood in rural Cumbria, from the “cartilage stew and spreadable carrots” of school dinners to the limpets the title character “rives from a crevice” on the rocky shore at low tide, “where the pools gaze / with new lenses at their grotto walls / flinching with jellies”.

Polley emerged as winner of the UK’s richest poetry prize at a ceremony on Monday evening at the Wallace Collection gallery in London. The book was chosen from a 10-strong shortlist including the winner of the 2015 Forward prize, Vahni Capildeo, and previous TS Eliot prizewinner Alice Oswald.

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Links:

Guardian | TS Eliot Poetry Prize | Jacob Polley

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