(born 1978 - ) - Cheshire and Shetland
At the unprecedented young age of 30, Shetland-based poet Jen Hadfield was brought to national attention when her collection Nigh-No-Place won the 2008 T.S. Eliot prize.
Born in Cheshire, Jen Hadfield studied at Edinburgh University before undertaking an MLitt in Creative Writing with Glasgow University. Acclaimed for her close connection with the natural world, Hadfield’s poetry is concerned with notions of travel, wilderness and home. Her first collection, Almanacs, was published in 2005 by Bloodaxe Books and went on to win an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. This award enabled the poet to travel in Canada, which, along with her subsequent relocation to Shetland, proved a strong influence in the writing of Nigh-No-Place.
Hadfield lives and works on Shetland, as a poet, writing tutor, artist and sometime shop assistant. She recently received a Dewar Award to produce a solo exhibition of Shetland ex-votos in the style of sacred Mexican folk art, incorporating very short fiction. She is currently working on her first novel, to be set on the west coast of Canada in the 1920s.
Jen Hadfield's 'Almanacs' is concerned with lists, rules and archetypes and what they don't account for. It takes as its subjects the tarot, the lore of full moons, weather myths and traveller's tales.
Jen Hadfield began this book on the hoof, travelling across Canada with an appetite for new landscapes. However, it is in Shetland that she becomes acutely aware of her own voice - her fluency and tongue-tiedness, repetition, hiatus and breath. Hadfield is also the author of 'Almanacs'.