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Jo Morris Dixon

Jo Morris Dixon grew up in Birmingham and now lives in London. She has worked in museums and currently works for a mental health charity. Her poetry has been published in Oxford Poetry and The Poetry Review. She was longlisted for the 2015 Plough Poetry Prize and the 2020 National Poetry Competition. I told you everything is her debut pamphlet.

I TOLD YOU EVERYTHING

Jo Morris Dixon’s debut pamphlet I told you everything reveals how poetry can function as a holding place for difficult experiences and emotions. Through language at once vivid and straightforward, Dixon skilfully addresses coming-of-age themes which are often left unexplored, even in therapy rooms. There is a keen attentiveness to form in these startling poems, ranging from the sonnet to the Golden Shovel. Urgent, complex and searingly honest, I told you everything is a fierce addition to poetry and queer writing in the UK.

SAMPLE POEM

Girl Guides 

we met on a Girl Guides trip (she texted first)
which caused me to check my phone
in French class at school, a different school
to the one she was at which had a pool
but wasn’t private she told me
to focus on the sound of leaves
crunching under my shoes whenever
I felt sad and that the dress code for
her fourteenth birthday party was red
which meant I expected her to invite me
so when she posted photos of herself
and her friends with Smirnoff Ice on MySpace
that night I hid my red turtleneck jumper
down the side of my bed and dreamt
about her saying sorry and kissing me
in a way which made me wake up
shocked to see that she had texted to say
my friend told me you like me, is it true?

'Artfully off-kilter, angular and perhaps even uncomfortable in moments, these poems find a rare clarity in the examination of difficult times. The therapist's gesture, a bully's graffiti, a phone call to a helpline all become the genesis of crystalline and precise poems in the hands of Jo Morris Dixon. But there us protest here too. I told you everything is both resolutely and complexly queer.'
Richard Scott

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