Creative Non-Fiction - Shortlisted 2017
Jack Underwood has been published as a poet for the last ten years as well as being an ongoing critic for international magazines Poetry London and Poetry Review, including pieces on Don Paterson’s Smith, and on the selected poems of Tom Paulin. This experience of both creating and critiquing poetry has helped him “take a wider view on the role of poetic language and thought”. His collection - Happiness (Faber & Faber, 2014), for example, explores the “ephemerality of happiness itself” and “the ever-present possibility of its departure.”
Underwood also has an interest in mathematics and science with theoretical physicists such as Richard Feynman and Carlo Rovelli often feeding into his writing. Indeed, his current work in progress, Not Even This, examines how poetic logic is an underpinning feature of knowledge forms far beyond the remit of poetry itself, such as quantum mechanics, cyborgism and post-human technologies.
His accolades include the Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and more recently in 2016 receiving the Somerset Maugham Award for his book 'Happiness'. Underwood won a Jerwood Opera Fellowship to write a libretto for The Commission, an opera premiered by Aldeburgh Music, The Royal Opera House and Opera North.