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Rebecca Watts

  • About
  • Reviews
  • Awards
  • Commendation for The Met Office Advises Caution: Poetry Book Society Recommendation
    Financial Times Best Books of 2016
    Guardian Best Books of 2016
    The Poetry School Books of the Year 2016
    Shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for First Full Collection 2017

    Rebecca Watts was born in Suffolk in 1983 and currently lives in Cambridge, where she works in a library and as a freelance editor. A selection of her poetry was included in New Poetries VI (2015). Her debut collection The Met Office Advises Caution (2016) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and featured in the Guardian and Financial Times ‘Best Books of 2016’ lists.

    Rebecca’s website is http://rerebeccawatts.weebly.com/


    Photo credit Alice Archer 2015


    'Watt's poems are reliably well made whatever their constitution (list, prose, legalese)... Her lauded first collection, The Met Office Advises Caution (2016), had the same precision of sense and subject matter: attentive nature poems alongside special interest topics... Watt's methodical mind is also an open one'

    Kathryn Maris, Times Literary Supplement

    '...the knowingness contained in these poems is exhilarating, their honesty disarming and mesmerising. Watts delivers her feminist thesis through a deft array of forms, generating a bewildering range of emotional tone. A tour de force.'

    James Fountain, The Blue Nib

    'I love the subtle, hidden rhythms in these poems, the way words strike out and connect in ways that are understated and suggestive. The perception in the poems is at times light, witty and smart but it can also be concentrated, filled with controlled intensity, like Sibelius's symphonies. These poems insist on the complexity of things'
    Colm Tóibín
    'There is something darkly unsettling at the heart of this impressive collection, a seductive, dangerous glimpse at the nature of ourselves. An image seen through half glances and reflections. The poems describe a world of contingency, both fragile and beguiling. It's all we have. The poet shows us the limits of our bond with it, of our communion with the gravity of existence, of nature and friendship. You want to hold on, to embrace, and apprehend, but your grip is never strong enough, or your sense of knowing deep enough. There is always loss. The world seems forever other, beyond, out of grasp. 'In the future it will be different,' the poet writes, hopefully; well maybe it will, but you fear it is wishful thinking. There's heartbreak here, but also triumph, moments of epiphany that offer hope and optimism. These marvellous poems have a freshness of language and imagery that gives you goose bumps. Formally elegant and precise, Watts's lyrical voice is vividly lit, and richly evocative. Red Gloves is a deeply moving collection, profound and insightful: a true tonic for these superficial, facile times.'
    Neil Rollinson
    'The title poem gently alerts us to the shared vulnerability of man, creature and environment. Brief encounters and deep connections with animals are perceptively drawn, while the weaker links between people are pinpointed with needle-sharp satire.'
    Financial Times Best Books of 2016
    'The Met Office Advises Caution is, without doubt, a deft take on nature poetry, but we would be remiss to read it simply as that. Watts has not only begun reworking the tradition for the present era, but has also started to fill it with a life and range that helps us make new sense of the past.'
    The London Magazine
    'Well edited, deceptively simple, quietly shrewd. A truly lovely group of articulate, intelligible, clean, clear-sighted poems, which despite their unassuming exteriors, belie the scuttle of enigmatic presences beneath.'
    Will Barrett, The Poetry School Books of the Year 2016
    'Humour, philosophy, feminism and the natural world might not necessarily make for comfortable poetry bedfellows, but [Watts] has them fitting together perfectly. The contents of wheelie bins, Zen trees, a suffragette audaciously mounting a penny farthing bicycle, athletic tracks and the fate of country moles - the poems offer levity and depth, always revealing a ''clear hard road, made for going along''.'
    Sarah Hall, Guardian Best Books of 2016
    'Rebecca Watts's poems adopt strange and illuminating vantage points - the bird's-eye view of a hawk, or a Victorian lady surveying a street from a penny-farthing - to do poetry's work of telling the truth, but telling it slant. Watts is particularly attuned to those points where human and non-human creatures meet and interact, and writes with intelligence and incision.'
    Emma Jones
    Awards won by Rebecca Watts Short-listed, 2017 The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry First Collection Prize (The Met Office Advises Caution )
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