A Woven Rope

“Jenna Plewes has a remarkable gift for infusing every subject with an imagery and a sensuality which are detailed and exact, so that you are convinced of the truthfulness of the emotions expressed. Every poem here contributes to the whole, but for me the outstanding section is the third: nowhere else have I seen the carer’s role exemplified with such clarity. She seems to have unlimited empathy for the subjects of the sequence, and she never tips over into sentimentality. This book, Jenna Plewes’s fifth, is her strongest yet.” John Killick

“Grace and purpose distinguish this collection where poems trace the arc of parenting and explore the manifold challenges of being in the world.  This collection also observes the natural world, its beauties, and its terrors, and is unafraid to confront violence and cruelty.  The writing throughout is unforced, fine-drawn, lyrical, heart-felt.” Penelope Shuttle

A Woven Rope is very searching and very forgiving.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-6-7
60 pages
R.R.P. £10.99

A sample poem can be enjoyed below.

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A Woven Rope (including P&P)
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The road is reeling him in
mile after mile after mile,
pulling him through dark waters.

Needlefish aim for his eyes,
shoal after shoal hit the glass;
he stares ahead, unblinking,
feels the line tighten, then slacken,
the hook deep in his gut holds. 
He lets the night stream past,

conjures her voice, smell of her skin, 
paper-thin feel of her fingers,  
replays their wordless conversation.    

Wipers click a mantra in his head;
the tug and tear of severing
is still to come.


"I very much enjoyed this collection. Written in three parts, it covers the span of a human life. The first part deals with birth and childhood, the second part comprises a more diverse set of poems and the third part focuses on the ageing and loss of a parent. The title for the collection comes from a line in the poem ‘Self’:

The rim of the world’s a woven rope
you’ll wrap around your wrist to keep you safe.

This couplet seems to me to an excellent example of how Plewes uses simple language in a powerful way. Her visual images are very evocative; they draw the reader in. [...]"

Sue Wallace-Shaddad, London Grip, full review here

'“A Woven Rope” is a lyrical exploration of maternal lineage through transitional roles of daughter becoming mother, mother becoming granddaughter and the potential for the line to continue through the new daughter. Jenna Plewes’ attention to details, whether marks that create a watercolour, phrases used by a mother realising she’s quoting her own mother, the tension in a high wire, let the reader admire the intricacy and feel their deceptive strength.'
Emma Lee, full review here

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