Poetry

J.S.Watts' poetry appears in a range of publications in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the States including Acumen, Envoi, The Journal, Mslexia and Orbis. In 2011 her poem, Green Rushes, was nominated for the U.S. Pushcart Prize. Other prizes have been won (and lost) along the way.

Her debut poetry collection, "Cats and Other Myths", is published by Lapwing Publications (see the Books page for further details) and was The Poetry Kit's BOOK OF THE MONTH (May 2011).

A pamphlet-sized poetry sequence, "Songs of Steelyard Sue", is also published by Lapwing Publications (see the Books page for further details). It has been nominated for a hat trick of poetry awards and Steelyard Sue Builds a Baby from the pamphlet is the WINNER of the 8th Annual Data Dump Awards for SF poems published in Britain in 2012.

Her latest poetry collection, "Years Ago You Coloured Me", is published by Lapwing Publications as of 2016 (see the Books page for further details).

J.S. has read and performed her poetry at festivals and events across the UK including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Rhythms of The World Festival. You can watch brief video recordings of some of her readings by clicking on the following links:

J.S.Watts reading at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2011

J.S.Watts reading at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2012


Shapechanger

Mine is a journey through the pages of night,
Ink stained and dusty under a blue-black sky,
Moving forward while reason sleeps.
Child of the dark, bride of these times,
Married to a cause I no longer remember,
Widowed by a love I left behind.

The world tore when I was born.  Crying and naked
I crawled through to clothe myself in others' faces,
Tangible dreams that wrap and wind,
Clinging and choking like an overgrown garden,
Seeding their hopes and fears upon me,
Imprinting their stories in the holes in my mind.

The pages turn and I am another,
Not quite me and not quite not.
Faces and bodies melt to reform repetitively.
The enforced sympathy drags me down.
There is no silence at the centre of this whirlwind,
Filled with the dryness of pages frantically turning.

It is a dead sun which illuminates my nightly voyage,
Leading my own dance of selves along this dusty route.
I have dreamed of a cool white tower under a cobalt sky
Where even the damned may receive absolution
And the pain of being can be erased
By the single stroke of an inkless pen.

I have come so far, but not far enough it seems
To make the telling of many conform to the simplicity of one.
A single watcher in the one tall tower,
A lonely multitude on the way to nowhere.
Ours is a tale no better for the telling;
A story with no end that was best not begun.

                                                               J.S.Watts

(from: "Cats and Other Myths" by J.S.Watts, published by Lapwing Publications, 2011 - copyright J.S.Watts)