Winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2008, shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection, Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The language of Jen Hadfield's poetry is one of incantation and secular praise. Her first book, "Almanacs", was a traveller's litany, featuring a road movie in poems set in the north of Scotland. "Nigh-No-Place" is the liturgy of a poet passionately aware of the natural world. Hadfield began her new book on the hoof, travelling across Canada with a ravenous appetite for new landscapes. She took epic routes: the railway line from Halifax to Vancouver and the Dempster Highway's 740 km of gravel road, ending in the Arctic oiltowns of Inuvik and Tuktoyuktuk. But it is in Shetland that she becomes acutely aware of her own voice - her fluency and tongue-tiedness; repetition, hiatus and breath. "Nigh-No-Place" reflects the breadth of ground she's covered. 'Ten-minute Break Haiku' is her response to working in a fish factory. 'Paternoster' is the Lord's Prayer uttered by a draught-horse. 'Prenatal Polar Bear' takes place in Churchill, Manitoba, surrounded by tundra.
- Paperback | 64 pages
- 138 x 216 x 7.62mm | 113.4g
- 15 May 2008
- BLOODAXE BOOKS LTD
- Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
'A zestful poet of the road, a beat poet of the upper latitudes, Jen Hadfield conjures poems and prose-poems of great spirit and imaginative daring from the northern landscapes. Lively, youthful and full of the joy of language, Almanacs is the most refreshing debut for ages' - Kathleen Jamie. 'There's barely a poem that does not contain a treasurably offbeat image...the vivid exuberance of her language wins you over' - Sarah Crown, Guardian. 'Fresh, original, perceptive' - Anne Donovan, Scotsman (Books of the Year) 'A quick mind abroad alone in the ever-changing natural landscape. The language country-rooted, specific, of clear observation: a sophisticated, refreshing country brew'- Tom Leonard.
About Jen Hadfield
Jen Hadfield lives in Shetland where she works as a poet and writing tutor. Her first collection Almanacs (Bloodaxe Books, 2005) was written in Shetland and the Western Isles in 2002 thanks to a bursary from the Scottish Arts Council, and it won an Eric Gregory Award in 2003, which enabled her to work on her second collection, Nigh-No-Place (Bloodaxe Books, 2008), in Canada and Shetland. She went on to win the T.S. Eliot Prize for Nigh-No-Place, which was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation as well as being shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. She has also received a Dewar Award to produce a solo exhibition of Shetland ex-votos in the style of sacred Mexican folk art, incorporating rubrics of very short fiction, and won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Competition in 2012. Her third collection, Byssus, was published by Picador in 2014.