Graduate wins £15,000 award

Published

Amy McGregor

University of Glasgow alumnus, Jen Hadfield, has become the youngest ever recipient of the T.S. Eliot Prize for her second collection of poems, Nigh-No-Place.

The prize is awarded annually to the best collection of new verse in English by the Poetry Book Society.

It is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards, and also carries the largest cash prize, in British poetry. Past recipients of the award  include  Seamus Heaney,  Carol Ann Duffy and Ted Hughes.

The creative writing graduate was announced winner of the prize on January 12 and was presented with her award by Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion.
While introducing Hadfield, Motion described her as “a remarkably original poet near the beginning of what is obviously going to be a distinguished career.”

Tom Leonard, Professor of English Literature, tutored Hadfield during her study at Glasgow University.

He explained the significance of the accolade and the effect that it would have upon the poet’s career.

He said: “It’s an important award. Besides significantly increasing the sales of her work, it will make Jen Hadfield a sought-after reader at poetry festivals and literary events.

“Funding the business of writing is always a problem for poets, who are usually not to be found amongst society’s high earners.

“Jen likes to travel in exploration for material for some of her work. The £15,000 will be most welcome I’m sure.”

“She has great poetic talent and a total commitment to her art.”