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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 June, 2004, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Under-30s make top UK poets list
Poet Laureate Andrew Motion
Poet Laureate Andrew Motion chairs the NextGen poetry panel
A 29-year-old man from Carlisle has been placed on a list of the 20 most exciting new poets of his generation.

Jacob Polley joins Leontia Flynn, 29, a student from Belfast. Each have had only one collection of verse published.

The two poets are relative youngsters compared to the other "Next Generation Poets" placed on the list since its creation 10 years ago.

Two are over 50, but most are in their 40s, showing many people write poetry only when they are older, judges said.

More than one-and-a-half million volumes of poetry were sold in Britain last year, yet nine out of every 10 volumes sold are by dead authors.

All change

The "NextGen" poets were selected by a panel of six judges on the basis of a first single author collection published between May 1994 and April 2004.

At least 80% of the poems in each collection had to be previously unpublished in book form.

Polley, whose poems were first published by Carlisle County Council, was also nominated for the T S Eliot prize for his first collection of poetry "The Brink".

The Arts Council and the Poetry Book Society said they hoped to eliminate age as a barrier in poetry by promoting the most exciting new poets to have emerged in the past decade in the list.


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