From Jane McKie –
Jay Whittaker’s debut sizzles with feeling: feelings explored, and feelings held in check. In poems that explore love, bereavement, the survival of breast cancer and many other aspects of life, she is brave, astute, compassionate, and — where needed — witty. Throughout this debut, she demonstrates a keen eye for the natural world, a fine ear, and great sensitivity to our strengths and foibles as human beings. The result is a delightfully ambitious and humane read.
From Roselle Angwin –
Courageous and engaging, Wristwatch maps Jay Whittaker’s journey through some of the biggest transitions we can make: death of a lover, her own experience with cancer and its drawn-out treatment, and loss of parents and other relatives being core to the themes. Somehow, Whittaker manages to make these poems beautiful, and not depressing.
And then there is breakthrough: new life, love, hope.
Throughout, the natural world carries the themes; in and for itself, and also as metaphor. This gives grounding to the subtle nuances of Whittaker’s writing. Some poems are fiery, edgy (‘Risky Breasts’, ‘Baited’, ‘Thank You, Vera’); some are poignantly delicate (’Sea Defence’, ‘Singing Bowl’, ‘Wide local excision’, ‘What the Hare Knows’). All of them are compelling.