Jacob Polley was born in Carlisle, Cumbria. He is the author of four acclaimed books of poems, The Brink (2003), Little Gods (2006), The Havocs (2012) and Jackself (2016) all published by Picador, UK. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2002, and both The Brink and The Havocs were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. His collection Jackself won the 2016 TS Eliot Prize.
In 2011, he was Arts Queensland’s poet-in-residence, and he was Visiting Fellow Commoner in the Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2005-7. He has also held residencies at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and at the Wordsworth Trust.
In 2004, he was named one of the ‘Next Generation’ of the twenty best new poets in Britain. His first novel, Talk of the Town, a fiercely demotic and funny coming-of-age murder mystery, won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. He teaches at the University of Newcastle where lives.