Burra-based poet Jen Hadfield received a welcome shock this week when she found out she had won the TS Eliot Prize for poetry for her second collection, Nigh-No-Place.
Announced at an awards ceremony packed with stars of the literary world on Monday evening in London, the news was completely unexpected for the author, who described the experience as “surreal”.
Nigh-No-Place is the second of Hadfield’s collections of poetry and prose, written partly in Shetland and of her experiences while she spent 15 months travelling throughout Canada. It was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her first collection, Almanacs, also won critical acclaim.
Hadfield was presented with her winnings, a cheque for £15,000.
The English-born author, who holds dual Canadian citizenship, first came to Shetland to work for Shetland Arts Trust as a writer in residence. She also tutors writers and works in the Bonhoga gallery.