The Odds


Winner of the 2018/19 International Book & Pamphlet Competition
Judged by Neil Astley, Michael Schmidt and Amy Wack

What Writers and Critics Think

  • Emma Simon is a versatile poet, drawing on a wide range of subject-matter and making use of an impressively handled variety of forms and lines from one poem’s staccato measure tracing the thoughts racing through the mind of a disbelieved Harvey Weinstein victim to another enacting the hopping and sliding of a frog, from couplet to couplet … A collection celebrating what MacNeice called ‘the drunkenness of things being various’ – and with style and panache.

    Neil Astley


The Odds examines how we are all juggling with fate, luck and chance, both good and bad — and sometimes grab the wrong end of the lighted torch. Peopled with odd characters: psychic bookies, vicious magpies, a modern day Lady Macbeth, some miracle frogs, and the owner of a dark laboratory; the poems remain rooted in friendship, family and sense of how important it is to make the most of what we have.

Emma Simon grew up in Northamptonshire, but now lives and works in London as a freelance journalist and copywriter. She has been widely published in anthologies and magazines including The Rialto, The North, and Under the Radar. She has won both the Ver Poets and Prole Laureate competitions and her debut pamphlet, Dragonish, was published by The Emma Press in 2017.