The promise of Jocelyn Simms

Book cover detail - The Promise of Thaw by Jocelyn Simms

If you’re in the book trade, you receive a lot of books for review, but there are certain names that, like those first signs of approaching summer, bring a sparkle of anticipation. I was looking forward to The Promise of Thaw by Jocelyn Simms, and the promise was fulfilled.

The back-jacket reviewers are Elaine Briggs, who writes “Here, everything works meticulously and delicately from the smallest to the inhumanly large…”, Philip Burton, who writes that “… each line is a poem in itself.” Roger Elkin agrees: “Finely honed poetic sensibilities transform the transitory and fleeting into the memorable and real”, concluding that “The collection’s humanity and honesty    are exceptional, making it one to savour, cherish and re-read.”

What can I say that would put it better? I can only offer a taster of the poet’s own words. Here, in two nutshells, are a wedding, and a market trader…


From Nine Yards Smiling

I am white light, a feather on the breath of god,

a yacht set sale for France


You are the stone stairway, the mountain ash,

the word unspoken


From     Market Day

John Scott rubs square palms across apron stripes.

I finger a solid apple. 


… and then there is the selection from Tickling the Dragon, which still astonish me whenever I look at them, but I think I will leave you with the opening words of this collection.

From Off the Beaten Track

… in passing they touch

the cornerstone of the poet’s house.


What more could the reader wish for? Treat yourself to a copy of this collection. It is, as Elkin puts it, “one to savour, cherish and re-read.”

The Promise of Thaw by Jocelyn Simms, and her Tickling the Dragon, The International Poetry Award winner, 2020.

Buy The Promise of Thaw

Click here to buy your copy of The Promise of Thaw direct from the publisher.

Buy Tickling the Dragon

Tickling the Dragon

Buy this award book of poetry and photographs direct from the publisher. Postage free to UK addresses.


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