Reviews

WOMAN'S HEAD AS JUG (Arc 2013)

"A rush of joy at its title spurred me to immerse myself in Jackie Wills' warm and witty new collection. Woman's Head as Jug explores the development of Woman through the generations and through history…..As you read you feel connected to the poem, the past, and the earth."
Isobel Taylor-Herbert, Mslexia, Mar/Apr/May 2014 

"There is something of (George) Trakl in the way Wills drops isolated images into a poem, allowing them to chime together…..personal and geographic histories are both seen as carrying weight. At the same time, or concomitant to this idea, Wills is concerned with transience, and she is aware of how time causes disintegration."

Anthony Howell, The Fortnightly Review, November 2013
http://fortnightlyreview.co.uk/2013/11/bedside-reading-table/


"Wills shows that a poem remains a deeply human magic....the delicacy and strength of her writing shine out in her collection's final lines, as 'Funeral Horses', fed titbits by their groom, "lick salt from her palm.""

Alison Brackenbury Under the Radar Issue 12 December 2013
http://www.ninearchespress.com/magazine.html

"Ultimately, the collection reveals the poet’s voice: feminist, female, progenitor, and human heir to both generation and decay."

Norbert Hirschhorn London Grip December 2013


COMMANDMENTS (Arc 2007)


“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

“Wills demonstrates her range and depth with this collection….Not only is this a humorous and thought-provoking read, it is also witness to Wills’ development as a poet of worth.”
Kate North, Mslexia Jan 2008



“Jackie Wills’ stark, outspoken speakers leave the reader in no doubt of their status. Iconoclasm is the order of this collection and Wills spares the reader no irreverence.”
Charlotte Newman, Warwick Review March 2008

FEVER TREE (Arc 2003)

“Jackie Wills explores the landscapes of memory and place with stark, and at times disconcerting, clarity. She is at her best when most surprising, bringing flashes of the extraordinary to the everyday.”
Christina Patterson, Independent 23.1 04

“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

“These poems are made without evident strain, and their resolute order is bewitching. But re-reading them—always the test—unlocks their subtleties without loosening their music, making Fever Tree a book to return to.”
Dr J D Ballam Suite 101.com 28.3.04

"Fever Tree is a perplexing choice of title when one suspects that the poet herself works up more of a sweat mopping the kitchen floor…..Wills has an impressive list of residencies and accolades to her credit. She also has her poems printed on paper napkins. What can one add to that?" 
Kate Keogan, PN Review (July-August 2004)



“Jackie Wills refreshes the everyday with her sharp, compassionate eye.”
Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, November 2004

PARTY (Leviathan 2000)

“...full of Hitchcockian, unexplained narratives and panicked, sinister characters, a woman washing a Rottweiler in a toddlers’ paddling pool, a girl knifing another girl out clubbing. Rackety, offbeat, modern vignettes, darkly British and bitter as marmalade.”
Ruth Padel, The Independent on Sunday, 28.1.01.

“poems which dart in and out of surreality.......a very fine collection indeed.”
Robert Macfarlane, Leviathan Quarterly, September 2002.

“Wills is acutely aware of visual details which give her poems a vigorous quality as she moves from image to image. When her gaze rests for a moment it lends weight to the subject and the effects can be stunning.”
Martin Colthorpe, Poetry Review, Winter 2001.

“The poems are full of weirdos - a transsexual grave robber, an amateur mechanic, a dog-choir trainer.”
Andrew Stibbs, The North, Spring 2002.

“We are not used to poets who come from backgrounds that include, as part of their daily lives, Exocets and Tomahawks, the drilling of soldiers.”
Sue Hubbard, Poetry London, Spring 2001.

“elegant and expansive poetry from this wonderful Sussex based writer. Jackie is a real craftswoman of the written word.”
Scriberazone 2003.



POWDER TOWER (Arc 1995)

"Jackie Wills's Powder Tower is her first full-length gathering of work. She is a sharp-eyed chronicler of the tensions and nuances of family life, with a fine sense of what to leave out of a poem. Already she has impressively learned not to repeat or waste effects and subjects, and to build observed details sparingly into the drama of a poem. As in Doty or O'Donoghue this results in poems that give priority to the communication of experience, and the reader is enlightened by sharing it." John Fuller, PBS Bulletin.

"Mesmerizing and sharply imagistic, each poem travels a long distance in a short space. Jackie Wills skilfully explores a range of experience, including the muted brutality which lies within everyday relationships. These urgent, finely-wrought poems leave a sense of life's impossible juxtapositions like the 'bluebell wood/ he saw from a motorway.' They invite the reader to continue their dreamwork." Moniza Alvi.

“she commands the authentic details of marital lunacy...”
Sean O’Brien, Sunday Times, 15.10.95

“Jackie Wills’s Powder Tower deserves its Poetry Book Society Recommendation for the confidence of its similes alone, which cannily suggest the fragility of our social and domestic arrangements.”
Elizabeth Lowry, TLS, February 1996.

“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.

“Her poems are quiet snapshots of ordinary lives in Britain.”
Richard Tyrrell, Independent, 14.10.95

“Her language is sensual and seductive, full of lyrical cadences and fluid rhythms, and she writes with a natural, unforced style that is wholly refreshing.”
Neil Rollinson, The North, April 1996.