3.8.09

Jen Hadfield wins 2009 T S Eliot Prize!




Jen Hadfield is the youngest poet ever to win the T S Eliot Prize. She is prodigiously gifted as a poet, and has a voice that melts the legs and caused a mild palpation in this elderly gentleman's chest! Hear her read on the magnificent Poetry Archive-(Very well done indeed Andrew Motion). 'Nigh-No-Place,' her second collection reeks of the harbour-smells of Scottish islands-those God-droppings set in sapphire. There is a lilting thread that gently weaves a skein through all the poems. Language used like brushes of gentle light to articulate the moods of weather, the blashy-wadder, the inner moods. Here sheep and cats and dogs are characters. There is a refreshing sincerity in Jen's poems (when I went back to my own work I was appalled by my poetry's gravitas, its metropolitan disdain or pehaps the frown it wears as it looks around for victims...Ahem.) Jen's poems have none of that-they are indeed fresh, open and young. I wish her well in what promises to be a very fruitful career.
Buy the book and read it slowly rolling the words inside your skull as you would a good wine in your mouth. There's iodine from the seaweed gathering in your nostrils as you read this verse. Sit with it and carry the poems around for a few days. There's a waft of Lagavulin here. These poems take you back to what really matters-they mind you what your poetry's for.

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