cocoon by russell jones


A new full-length collection of poetry by Edinburgh-based writer & editor Russell Jones. Features comic poems illustrated by Sara Julia Campbell, Caroline Grebbell, Aimee Lockwood, Edward Ross & Mark Toner.

“Jones’s experimentalism in form and eccentricity of theme illuminates where poetry is, and where it can go.” – Rory Nevins, Euphony Journal

“An exquisite publication.” – Keira Brown, Fountain Review

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“cocoon contains life, the universe, and everything: these are strange and vital poems for our times.”
– Claire Askew

“These are fine poems by a truly fine poet.”
– Ron Butlin

Through childhood memories of graveyards and racecourses, to family bereavements, Peruvian river myths and outer space exploration, cocoon is a unique collection of poems that explores the worlds we create, the transformations we undergo through life, and how “to keep the light / from leaving”.

cocoon features 16 pages of full colour comic-poems illustrated by Sara Julia Campbell, Caroline Grebbell, Aimee Lockwood, Edward Ross & Mark Toner.

Russell Jones has published six collections of poetry and edited three poetry anthologies. He is the deputy editor of Scotland’s only sci-fi magazine and was the UK’s first Pet Poet Laureate. Russell also writes books for children, young adults and supposedly-grown-up adults. He has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and occasionally blogs.

One of the comic-poems from cocoon, ‘An Official Guide to Surviving the Invasion’, is currently being made into a short film. Find out more.

the pink river dolphins of peru

She lay on the banks of the Amazon, sang
of capybara: Oh, my long-tooth love,
great guinea, come to me, come.
That was all: near-innocence,
wet hair drying.

It grew dark, she tells the town,
months later when she swells
like spring waters. I was alone.

So they gather with dead fish
to tempt him. He bites,
chatters, pink as cantuta,
stands accused.
They don’t need more evidence
than his serrated, erectile jaw,
his guilt-loaded eyes.

Waters break, the town floods
in to see her birth. Human scream
from bottle nose, waving five-prong
flipper, umbilical or blowhole.

It’s common here, the midwife reports.
A real myth. Please, stay away
from the riversides.


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