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Jenna Plewes’s career in psychotherapy and her love of the natural world give her poetry its distinctive voice. She is at her happiest in quiet places, the sea, mountains and moorlands feed her soul.
Her poems have been published in the Rialto, Orbis , Prole, Artemis, The Cannon’s Mouth, Sarasvati, The Dawntreader and Reach. Her first full collection, Salt, was published by IDP in 2013. Gifts, a collection of contemplative poetry published in 2014 is available on Amazon. Pull of the Earth was her second full collection with IDP. Against the Pull of Time was published by V.Press in 2018. (The first poem in the pamphlet was poem of the week on the Oxford Brookes poetry centre website in 2018.
She was highly commended in the Hastings International competition in 2012, highly commended in the Geoff Stevens memorial prize in 2013 and 2014, commended in the Four Corners International poetry competition and in the Second Light Poetry Competition in 2015 and 2017. In 2016 and 2018 she was shortlisted in Poetry on the Lake, and Poetry Space competitions. She won 1st prize in the Settle Sessions Competition in 2017 and 3rd prize in the Barnet poetry competition in 2018 , runner up in the Settle Sessions competition 2018. 2nd prize in Poetry Space competition 2019 and runner up in Ware poets Competition 2019. She was shortlisted in the Brian Dempsey Memorial competition in 2019.
She and her husband live in Worcestershire with a rescue collie. They have two children and four grandchildren.
The Salt and Sweet of Memory
by Jenna Plewes
“The poems in this collection span a life, from the writer's birth and early childhood in the aftermath of the Second World War to the present day. The preoccupation is with memory: the desire to recapture and make sense of experiences and events which were often bewildering at the time. In clear, concise language, and with unfailing sensitivity and empathy, Plewes evokes key elements of her childhood, in particular her parents’ relationship and continues into adulthood through love poems and poems about absence, change and new beginnings – always with the ability to see hope and potential in the most everyday of scenarios. They are poems rooted in Britain, in familiar, homely landscapes; the poet is alert to her environment, the sea, woodland or moor, and aware of the gifts the natural world brings.Outwardly straightforward – in language, form and content – these are poems which, even if their questions can't be answered, are always seeking to uncover deeper truths.”
“Jenna Plewes here observes and reflects on a variety of relationships: a loving mother with a wild side only seen clearly in retrospect, an absentee father, younger brothers, life partner and friends, all inviting the reader to consider the ‘salt’ and ‘sweet’ in their own relationships as they change with time. There is a haunting quality to the poems, a feel of being outside looking in, where ‘Home’ is temporary, where ‘side by side we go our separate ways’. We encounter these observations through intriguing images: ‘slip-weedy groynes’, ‘a nest of coiled tights / like soft brown mice’, ‘star-shine in the grass’ and, of a brooch, ‘a soft kiss on my palm’. These poems are gentle and tactile, keeping nature close, never losing sight of love.”
Anne Stewart (Editor, Poetry P F)