The Odds

£6.00

This book is for pre-order only. Publication date 2020-02-01.

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

The Odds is a collection of poems about how we are all juggling with fate, or luck and chance, both good and bad — and sometimes grab the wrong end of the lighted torch.

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, including her own energetically updated version of Anglo-Saxon stress metre. Throughout the collection her working of the line is impressively tuned to what she evokes, 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. These two examples show something of the breadth of range in The Odds: in-between we meet a latter-day Lady Macbeth, visit a poisonous laboratory (a tour de force, this one), walk on water, break down on the motorway, and find ourselves descending through space as earth-bound astronauts. All in all, a collection celebrating what MacNeice called ‘the drunkenness of things being various’.

    Neil Astley
  • Alive to the complexities and contradictions of the world, this acute and musical collection celebrates the quotidien alongside the mythical, the natural world alongside the human one. From \'The Dissolution of the Libraries\' to a \'PIndaric Ode to Robert Smith of The Cure’, Simon skilfully navigates between the humorous and tragic, the philosophical and the entertaining, moving between voices and registers with pleasure-inducing panache.

    Jacqueline Saphra
  • A wordless grief lives beneath the startling language of these poems. Like bouquets hung from railings, her images express what we cannot say.

    Caroline Bird

Description

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.