The Safe House has been a long time in the making. The book almost feels like a Selected Poems from the past ten years, what with my prison poems included as a section, and the river poems having a ‘chapter’ too. There’s lots of new work here as well, poems written in the last five years that appear here for the first time. I think the book feels organised, in the sense that themes return from section to section. The main focus I had when I was collating these poems is reflected in the title itself, The Safe House: the book is, in one respect, about the idea of home, or different views of home. I don’t want to say too much else about the work as it’s for the reader now and not me and I am just another reader too. Here is part of the first review of The Safe House by Matt Simpson in the on-line poetry magazine Stride.
Matt Simpson writes: ‘Jones is good in love poems and writing about domestic intimacies: these are done in a warmly delicate way. His poems arising out of experience of a writing residency in a prison are honest, moving, humane; his poems about places and travelling are engaging, turning, like his work generally, the familiar into something rich and new.’ See ‘Four first-time full collections – new Salt and Shoestring titles, for the full review.
Andy Croft, in Morning Star Online writes: ‘Safe Houses (Shoestring £8.95) is Chris Jones’s first full-length collection. A third of the book is devoted to a stunning sequence about the River Don in Sheffield, where he lives.’ See 21st Century Verse, for the full review.