Chris Jones

Chris Jones has lived in Sheffield since 1990. He was awarded an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry in 1996. From 1997 to 1999 he worked as a writer-in-residence at Nottingham Prison. He was the Literature Officer for Leicestershire for five years and then spent some time as a freelance writer and poetry festival organiser. He currently teaches creative writing at Sheffield Hallam University.

His poem 'Sentences', published in the magazine Staple, was nominated for the 2011 Forward Prize Best Single Poem Prize. In 2007 he published his first full-length collection, The Safe House, with Shoestring Press.

Hard on the Knuckle was a winner in the 2003 Book & Pamphlet Competition, judged by David Constantine.

In 2012 he published a chapbook, Jigs and Reels , with Shoestring Press, and in June 2015 his second full length collection is coming out with Longbarrow Press: it will be entitled Skin.


'Chris Jones’s Hard on the Knuckle [is] a pamphlet whose title sequence grew out of his residency inside Nottingham Prison; this central poem is a moving, elegiac, beautifully judged portrayal of the prisoner’s (and the writer’s) discomfort behind razor wire. Other scattered prison poems have not learned from the way in which Jones solves the problem of political sensitivity in such writing; how he confronts the world he is witnessing but still retains an essentially personal tone.' — Tim Liardet


Leaving Galway we drove out west
on roads like little twisters for the tongue,
stalling at junctions where we had to guess,
until, inevitably, I guessed wrong –
stopped dead, in rain, at the end of Europe,
the rock-pool farms of low walls and cold fish.
We had a map, a bar of chocolate,
and Hartnett's Farewell to English
to guard against the sky's upturned suitcase,
and you to drive me back to coral beach,
where creatures have a billion years of grace,
the light of shrunken suns within our reach.
Returning to the spartan, hostel room
we hung our clothes up, made it home. 

Titles by this author

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