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Jackie Wills

Updated: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:39 am

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Woman's Head as Jug is my fifth full length collection of poems. It is released in September 2013 by Arc Publications: The book is about women's experiences of work, the city, menopause and ancestry. They are funny, political and lyrical, shaping the metaphorical and physical terrain of the female body in an original, essential way. Simple language, large ideas show the value of love and the depth of impermanence. Other collections: Commandments (Arc, 2007), Fever Tree (Arc, 2003), Party (Leviathan, 200), Powder Tower (Arc, 1995). Shortlisted for the 1995 TS Eliot prize One of Mslexia Top 10 new women poets 2004 “The poems are full of weirdos - a transsexual grave robber, an amateur mechanic, a dog-choir trainer.” Andrew Stibbs, The North, Spring 2002. “she commands the authentic details of marital lunacy...” Sean O’Brien, Sunday Times, 15.10.95 “These poems are sly and skillful, full of fabulous and exact fictions about ordinary family life, rackety, passionate and flat.” Liz Lochhead, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Winter 1995. “There’s a sense of the organic whole here...takes on big issues in a personal way...the voice is tight and strong.” Mslexia Jan 2004 “To pick up Jackie Wills’ Commandments is to be struck by how very English it is - by which I mean grounded, filled with the stuff of the world, and colour.” Jane Routh Stride Feb 2008


From Woman's Head as Jug Gyratory On Friday nights the cycle lane disappears beneath a line of waiting cars outside Wine Me Up, Booze Factor and Perfect Pizza. Men criss-cross the pavement with padded bags and cool boxes. You can always buy a beer on Lewes Road. And when the cycle lane appears again, the cyclist looks towards the gyratory. She knows the gyratory has its own rules, governed by a stranded pub and petrol station. Not even Sainsbury’s has influence – customers backed up into the car park, refused entry. More than a crossroads, cars meet from six directions, split off into seven lanes - left to Five Ways, Lewes, up the hill of death, into a dead end or round again - to town, to town, to town. On the gyratory, the cyclist tenses her arms, looks straight ahead. The rope she balances both tyres on is held between poles by enormous carabinas. She must ignore the 49b revving behind her, the Big Yellow breathing out chip fumes, the concrete mixer, silver van. She cannot think of herself as flesh on the gyratory, where the cycle lane no longer exists. She must be as sure as time that it will reappear just after Shabitat, the second hand superstore. She must be as sure as faith, as the AtoZ or a 24 hour delivery man.

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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Charles Bane, Jr

Fri 27th Sep 2013 16:48

Love this poem.

Graham Sherwood

Wed 31st Jul 2013 20:20

Welcome to WOL Jackie. Have had a look at your website/blog. Impressive. Keep posting.

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Ann Foxglove

Wed 31st Jul 2013 14:01

Hi Jackie - a very warm welcome to WOL. Great poem here on your profile page - hope to see some more of your work on here soon :)

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