Release date: 5th June 2023
Rebel Blood Cells is Jamie’s debut poetry pamphlet, and the first publication from Punk Dust Poetry.
It explores Jamie’s experience of acute leukaemia and PTSD in a work full of pop culture obsessions, medical side-effects, raw honesty and sparks of humour.
The pamphlet includes the poem Ring the Bell which was shortlisted for the 2021 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry & Medicine.
Proceeds from each sale go to Leukaemia Care UK.
A signed bundle with badges and a bookmark can be pre-ordered from Punk Dust Poetry.
Some early readers have been very kind about it already.
“Jamie Woods writes with sensitivity, vulnerability and stark honesty about the complications of receiving a cancer diagnosis. A distinct and necessary voice in poetry.”
— Mari Ellis Dunning (author of Pearl & Bone and Salacia)
“Rebel Blood Cells explores a cancer diagnosis with sensitivity and humour. Opening up the spaces of hospitals and wards, Woods juxtaposes cancer treatment and Star Wars, Blue Peter and blood banks. Here’s a poet who can make you laugh and cry.”
— Zoë Brigley (author of Hand & Skull, editor of Poetry Wales)
“Jamie applies a deftness of form and tone to crack through a bleak shell, illuminating catching moments and tenderly reaching for what it means to be alive.”
— Jamie Hale (author of Shield, founder of CRIPtic Arts)
“In Rebel Blood Cells, Jamie Woods brings difficult subject matter to life. In a collection that’s equal parts expansive intergalactic blood battle and soft contemplative internal conflict, the poet takes readers across the highest of Roppongi landscapes to the last follicles of hair circling the drain of a Welsh hospital ward shower. Through a blurred but brutally honest lens, Woods explores the shock and hopelessness of an unexpected illness in a mind searching beyond its constrictions and yearning for the lifeblood of the dazzling Blackpool Promenade lights. Important poetry that refuses to make you comfortable, and instead, implores you to pay attention.“
— Dean Rhetoric (author of Foundry Songs and Cancer [+ Pop Punk])
“In a brave, emotionally-charged collection Rebel Blood Cells, Swansea-based writer Jamie Woods exposes us to the confusion, shock and desperate anger resulting from a diagnosis of Leukaemia. In these poems, we shuttle backwards and forwards through time and memories, through frantic and anguished reflections, as the writer makes repeated attempts to come to terms with a life-threatening illness and what it might mean for the future – “Fill me up with the darkest red heavy Merlot, tannins and isinglass. Notes of rusty haemoglobin and nausea hit as the nurse expertly swirls the glass.”
Although the subject of the collection is forbidding, Jamie Woods brings light-relief to the subject, as he looks back at his childhood self “born in the year of our LORD VADER nineteen-77” With references to Star Wars, the Manic Street Preachers, and eighties television, this harrowing, yet witty collection, makes for a memorable read with its sensitive and creative insight into a situation, which was suddenly forced upon him.”
— Matthew M. C. Smith (author of The Keeper of Aeons, editor of Black Bough Poetry)