Four years after Jacob’s last collection- The Havocs – Jackself sees Jacob at the height of his powers. In one of the most original books of poetry to appear in the last decade, Jackself spins a kind of fictionalized autobiography through nursery rhymes, riddles and cautionary tales, and through the many ‘Jacks’ of our folktale, legend, phrase and fable – everyman Jacks and no one Jacks, Jackdaw, Jack-O-Lantern, Jack Sprat, Cheapjack and Jack Frost.
At once playful and frightening, lyric and narratively compelling, Jackself is an unforgettable exploration of an innocence and childhood lost in the darker corners of Reiver country and of English folklore, and once more shows Polley as one of the most remarkable imaginations at work in poetry today.
Jacob Polley, who teaches at Newcastle University, lectured at St Andrews University for many years. He is back for one night of readings and frivolity in celebration of this most recent collection, which has just won this years’ prestigious T S Eliot Prize.