Wristwatch - Jay Whittaker

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Winner of the 2018 Saltire Poetry Book of the Year

Written from personal experience without a hint of sentimentality, Wristwatch charts a course through cancer treatment and recovery, becoming a widow at 44, and taking on the social care system on behalf of elderly relatives. United by themes of transition and transformation, the beautifully realised sequences in Wristwatch are moving, spare and convincing:

Listen as the city wheezes,
exhaling through its teeth:
the pause where it stops breathing,
when all I hear is heart,
thudding, as I wait.

("The Hum")

Author biography

Photo of Jay WhittakerJay Whittaker grew up in Devon and Nottingham, and has lived and worked in Edinburgh for over 20 years. Her debut poetry collection, Wristwatch (Cinnamon Press), was the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year in the Saltire Society Literary Awards 2018. Recent publications include The Butcher's Dog, The North, Gutter, The Interpreters' House, Envoi, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal and Staying Human (Bloodaxe). Jay writes about resilience, grief, living with cancer, and LGBT+ lives (including her own). She enjoys performing and has been well-received by audiences at the StAnza International Poetry Festival and other poetry and spoken word events in Scotland and beyond. One of Edinburgh's Other Writers, she enjoys making the most of the city's literary and spoken word scene.