Polley won an Eric Gregory Award, and the BBC Radio 4/Arts Council ‘First Verse’ Award, in 2002. His first book, The Brink (Picador 2003), was a Poetry Book Society Choice, and went on to be shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys prize. Polley was selected as one of the Next Generation Poets in 2004. He graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 1997. His second book, Little Gods (Picador 2006), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. He was a Visiting Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge from 2005-2007. His first novel with Picador,Talk of the Town, was released in 2009. As well as poetry, Jacob has also written the short film Flickerman and the Ivory-skinned Woman with the director, Ian Fenton http://www.jacobpolley.com
Jacob delivered the 2008 Red Room Company Mineslec at the Nightwriting launch, featured at the Sydney Writer's Festival.