Friday, 8 April 2011

Jo Mayers - Wearing the Coat (Review)

Jo Mayers – Wearing the Coat
(Self Published Chapbook)

Jo Mayers is from Macclesfield, a town on the outskirts of Cheshire
which I know myself from working there in 2004 and 2005
and states in her short biography ‘she started being a poet at
Marlborough School, but learned to do it properly at the
University of Warwick’.

This self published chapbook I got through from her at  Manchester’s
premium poetry open mike night ‘Freed Up’ at the beginning of 2011,
although she had been going there regularly there for most of 2010
(when I didn’t go for various reasons).

This Chapbook or pamphlet contains only 5 poems which could almost
be classed as an Single or a EP rather than a full length collection but
each one contains a realism that I rarely read in poetry, let alone as
well told as it is for example ‘How bad it is’ with a first line as:

‘We talk, all the time, about annoyance.
 I cannot understand yours’

This is a fascinating start to any poem where the two characters talk
and talk but don’t really talk about atall about lack of froth,
or the fad for red flip flops, or the admittedly strange dearth
of taxicabs on a quiet, rum-and coke type night’, this is poetry
which has a wonderful use of language which is playful but
still has at it’s centre, a message as the poem finishes ‘You
still care, don’t you, about our lives?’

Even more striking is the second poem ‘The Waiting’ which starts
With a striking bit of dialogue ‘I’m not waiting for you’ which is
Almost like it is leading you into a short story or a short play, before
It says ‘nevertheless time passes’ and two Beatles songs, you can
feel the disappointment with the poet in the air, which is drawn
beautifully into the cold pavement.

The only thing I didn’t like if I am honest was the fact there was
Only 5 poems which left me by the end of it making me think this
Would have been a really good introduction to a longer collection
and 5 poems simply wasn't enough.

Hopefully she’ll get to do it someday as there is skill here that
I feel that publishers would be interested in.

Jo runs a blog on Write Out Loud which can be found at

and can be emailed on


  1. Jo is swell, Some say every time she reads a poem a dolphin sings along!


  2. Hi Jo,

    I'm a big fan!!!

    I greatly admire your poetic gift!!!

    Here's perhaps my best poem.

    Trees Below The American Rockies

    What trees lie far below the mountains?
    Are those the same trees large in the painting I had? With the peaks beyond? That from above are just minuet specks of green?
    A lake of trees it seems.
    What are those miniscule flecks?
    Trees that stand proud below, seen from thousands of feet, a mass, a barely distinguishable multitude, a green carpet, a vast blanket stretched far away.
    A safe green world below the scary sky-soaring peaks.
    And which minuet speck of a tree should I choose as my favourite?

    Mike Fuller 25 / 3 / 2009

    With Best Wishes!!!
    Cheers - Mike