Chris Jones


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Longbarrow Press
5 June 2015
ISBN: 9781906175252
96 pages

From the publisher

This substantial collection showcases Jones’s range and talent admirably. It reminded me of why I fell in love with poetry, and kept the faith.
Pam Thompson on Skin (reviewed in The North 55)

Skin is the second full-length poetry collection by Chris JonesSkin reflects on the ties that bind us, taking in the complex layering of human relationships and the cells and tissues of the body itself.

The poems consider the role of the individual within the home and the institution, frequently returning to the idea of two men talking, debating, or arguing with each other. In ‘Sentences’, the hierarchies embedded in prison culture leave both men feeling the pressure of their marginal status. In the Reformation-era sequence ‘Death and the Gallant’, the two protagonists use the biblical paintings and religious objects that they have set out to destroy to conduct a guarded, then more overt, theological debate. The book offers counterpoints to these homosocial power relationships in its depiction of nurturing, loving behaviour in the sequences ‘Miniatures’ and ‘Jigs and Reels’, which reflect on family connections and fatherhood. Skin also affirms the creative collaborations that link poets to artists and musicians, and extends this dialogue through its patterns of sound and image.

Skin is a book of bonds, reaching back, reaching out; a sensory exploration of the world we inhabit and try to make sense of.