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Jo Reed

Jo Reed was born near Durham in 1941. She spent her childhood moving up and down the East Coast, from Northumbria to Norfolk, before arriving in Soho, London in the 1960s. She later lived in rural Surrey and Lincolnshire, before settling in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, at the turn of the century.

She has worked as an illustrator, printmaker and teacher, and has an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. Her debut collection of poetry, Stone Venus, was published by Valley Press in 2011, and was followed in 2015 by a second collection, Life Class.


Life Class

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Jo Reed’s second collection of poetry offers readers more of her trademark mix of memory, myth and magic; a window to a unique world where the unvarnished reality of OAP shopping trips (‘Finding the deepest trolleys, we fill our day’) sits alongside breathtaking flights of imagination (‘a turtle sings, fathoms deep, a boy held safe upon her back.’)

The magic of Life Class is found in the single consciousness that connects the poems; be they set in the world of 1960s Soho, on the edge of an estuary, on a Greek island, or in the hearts and minds of Jo’s inimitable female protagonists (and the men they love – or more frequently, tolerate). An invaluable chance to spend more time in the company of this much-loved poet.

Stone Venus

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Jo Reed's encounter with the original 'Stone Venus', entangled amongst seaweed on a Corfu beach, was the source of much inspiration, creativity and comfort to the lifelong artist. Later, it became the seed of her first collection of poetry; a collection you could soon be holding in your outstretched hand, much like Jo held 'Venus' herself on that cold morning.

The poet demonstrates a fascination with objects – as well as people, memories and places – throughout this moving, delicately-crafted debut. She inhabits them, transports them to decades past, then brings them back into the present with a series of skillful literary flourishes. This is writing to touch, inspire and astonish any reader – even those made of stone.

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