Jacob Polley: Lamanby
Lamanby is a live literature performance by award-winning poet Jacob Polley, with music by John Alder, and film by Ian Fenton. Inspired by Polley’s award-winning collection Jackself, and with the poet himself reading his work live, the performance takes the audience on a multi-media journey through the extraordinary story of an imagined childhood house which becomes the site of an alternative personal history.
On the eve of the sale of the house he grew up in, an ancient rural farmhouse of creaking floors and shadows, a man returns to spend a final night in the empty rooms. What he begins to hear and experience in the dark is a strange, poetic and powerful dream-vision of the house, far bigger, more fantastic and frightening than the reality – a place resonating with its own history of voices and music.
With remarkable music and soundscapes created by John Alder, the performance resonates with voices, film, monsters and music, telling a story charged with strangeness and poetry.
Lamanby movingly explores how we might hold on to what matters.
Produced by New Writing North for Durham Book Festival and supported by Arts Council England.
About the performers
Jacob Polley, who was born in Carlisle and brought up in Cumbria, is regarded as one of the leading talents of the new generation of British poets. His fourth book of poems, Jackself, won the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry, the judges describing it as ‘a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling.’ His three previous collections are The Brink, Little Gods and The Havocs (Picador). Both The Brink and The Havocs were shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and The Havocs won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His first novel, Talk of the Town, won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. Website
John Alder played guitar and was co-songwriter with British rock band, ‘The Jags’. An award-winning composer on BBC nature documentaries, John has also been a composer and sound designer for theatre productions with Northern Stage, Quarantine, The National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre.
Jackself by Jacob Polley
*Winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry*
Jackself is the fourth collection from one of Britain’s finest poets, and sees Jacob Polley at the height of his powers. In one of the most original books of poetry to appear in the last decade, Jackself spins a kind of ‘fictionalized autobiography’ through nursery rhymes, riddles and cautionary tales, and through the many ‘Jacks’ of our folktale, legend, phrase and fable – everyman Jacks and no one Jacks, Jackdaw, Jack-O-Lantern, Jack Sprat, Cheapjack and Jack Frost. At once playful and terrifying, lyric and narratively compelling, Jackself is an unforgettable exploration of an innocence and childhood lost in the darker corners of Reiver country and of English folklore, and once more shows Polley as one of the most remarkable imaginations at work in poetry today. Buy the book
T. S. Eliot judging panel described Jackself as ‘a firework of a book; inventive, exciting and outstanding in its imaginative range and depth of feeling’.