WINNER of English@BangorUniversity Poetry Award for Wales Book of the Year 2022
Comments from the Judges:
Andy Welch: Jeremy Dixon’s collection is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It begins with horrific tales of being bullied at school and includes the suicide note that he wrote as a young teenager and then charts his recovery from that. It comes with a trigger warning at the start of the collection. It just took me aback completely. It was it was so shocking, but something so beautiful to come out of it. And something that I think is probably – I don’t like the word important – but I would say that it is an important collection and a story that definitely deserves the audience that hopefully, being nominated for the prize can give to it.
Taylor Edmonds: I really admire Jeremy’s ability to be so vulnerable. I felt like he just really put his heart and his whole self into the collection.
cover design: Rachel Marsh, Semple Press
26th August 2021
ISBN’s Print: 978-1-913665-40-1 EPub: 978-1-913665-41-8 Mobi/Kindle: 978-1-913665-42-5 Audio: 978-1-913665-43-2
Jeremy Dixon’s first full poetry collection A VOICE COMING FROM THEN starts from his teenage suicide attempt and expands to encompass themes of bullying, queerphobia, acceptance and support. Includes unexpected typography, collage, humour, magic, discotheques and frequent appearances from the Victorian demon, Spring-heeled Jack.
Content warning, some of the poems deal with the themes and the language of physical and verbal bullying, swearing, queerphobia, queerphobic language, attempted suicide and suicide.
The term ‘important’ when it comes to describing poetry collections is often overused. So here I will use something that feels more real and appropriate for Jeremy’s work – it is vital and above all, real. A moving, haunting collection that is remarkable for both its startling depictions and visual inventiveness, Jeremy Dixon brings us to the edge and says: ‘listen’. I recommend you listen.
Natalie Ann Holborow
A work of powerful vulnerability and queer resilience, A Voice Coming from Then holds difficult material with tenderness, precision and formal playfulness. From the decision, ‘to die in my bedroom watching / BBC Wales in black and white’ – alongside recurring spectral witness, Spring-Heeled Jack – through to the book’s notes, we are held. Dixon’s invocation to, ‘clap and cheer and cradle your younger self’ in a world where ‘no system can guarantee safety’ unsentimentally, but urgently, extends a hand of experience.
Jeremy Dixon’s second collection is a compelling and deeply moving meditation on identity, community, loss and, above all, survival. At the core of this meticulously-worked book is a personal experience which opens a door to wider conversations about acceptance and protection. These poems are deftly written, sharp with detail and incident, humming melodies and casting their eye across dance floors, voyaging to Australia and singing the intimacy of crowded lifts. A Voice Coming From Then asks us to listen now – this collection is a rallying cry not just for inclusion but for love, in so many forms.
“These poems are deceptively simple with razor sharp observation, brutal honesty and a deftness of touch that gives space for the reader to understand both what is said and what is left unsaid… beautiful and important and needs to be read.” – Everybody’s Reviewing
“…a wonderful mix of truth, tragedy, and triumph. Life is terrible and also it is beautiful. A Voice Coming From Then is also a voice for now, in this sense, and I highly recommend it.” – Buzz Magazine
“A Voice Coming From Then is a collection of poems about resilience. Jeremy Dixon doesn’t shy away from difficult or taboo subjects but handles them with sensitivity and tenderness. He explores identity, the effects of homophobic bullying, the impact of suicide with the aim of starting conversations about acceptance and inclusion. The subject matter may be grim, but this is not a grim read. Moments of humour shine through. Ultimately, it’s about survival.” – Emma Lee