Scrimshaw, Jean Watkins’ first collection, is named after the carvings made by 19th century sailors and brought home as souvenirs. On whale tusks, bone or shells, their images were often of ships and spouting whales. Her poems explore the spectrum of family relationships, the creativity of craft workers and artists, as well as benign or savage aspects of the natural world. A native Briton sees Roman glassmaking; a drug addict sleeps in a cardboard box; the poet and a fox make eye contact for precious seconds, and the poems capture them in time.
Jean Watkins. Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 56 pages, June 2013.