Russell Jones’ poems are about love and loss. From terraced flats to outer space, its narrators are trying to make sense of the universe and their position in it. He experiments in form, from sonnet sequences to one-word poems, concrete poetry to haiku, attempting to express the changing world and the variety of life within it.
Praise for The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping
‘Russell Jones has been one of the most inventive and talented poets around for a few years now, but this first book displays the full range of his poetic gift and sweep of his vision. Few poets can combine, as he does, conceptual intelligence with emotional intimacy.
The poems are alternately witty, laugh-out-loud funny, tender, enriching, emboldening, mind-bending, devastating. From inside the Hadron Collider to outside the chip shop, he offers us shape-shifting collisions of life and poetry. This is verse that meets our contemporary world, with all its multitudinous potential, fragility and loss, head-on. The reader is in for a thrilling ride. As one of the poems puts it: “Lie back, jack in. This dream is electric …”‘ Alan Gillis
‘Russell Jones’s collection moves from the micro to the macro and back with an alert alacrity that marks him out as a younger writer of real promise. This quality of attention demonstrates itself in both his language and his level of engagement: syllable meets chromosome, minute particular collides with particle, sonnet sequence essays a society. There is a Morganic faith in form, in information, and in format’s capacity to frame the universe in a verse, evidenced by an abecedarian sequence of one word poems that recalls Hamilton Finlay at his wittiest. In all this, the deities are in the details, as it were, be they a telling snippet of recorded dialect, the ‘origami feet’ of a kingfisher, or the way a statue is painted darker by the rain. The tenderness with which they are recorded, the equal compassion for individuals caught in catastrophe or lost in introspection, makes this collection as impressive as it is engaging.’ WN Herbert
‘[Jones’] themes are love and loss, and they are both poignant and moving, and at times laugh-out-loud funny. […] This is a thought-provoking and accomplished collection of poems with something to say.’ Shropshire Review
‘For much of The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping this reviewer admired the beautifully written and deftly paced work on show by the talented and extremely promising Edinburgh based poet Russell Jones.’ Eildon Tree
‘This is Jones’ first full length collection of poetry – a fantastic start for an already promising poet. […] These poems offer an honest depiction of life, balancing between moments of intense pain and the quiet happiness that comes in a small moment with a loved one. If poetry is often challenged to find the personal in the universal, it must be said that Russell Jones is highly successful here. An ever-growing talent… to be watched.’ DURA
‘There is impressive versatility in this collection, but there is substance and feeling and meaning there too. […] Jones demonstrates a range of poetic skills, and shows maturity in his observations and judgements. It will be very interesting to see where he goes from there.’ Write Out Loud
‘The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping is a striking collection and deserves to do well. I look forward to seeing more from such a promising poet.’ The Bottle Imp