front cover of the book titled Thetis a poetic narrative - image shows a woman's torso on a black background

Thetis is a poetic narrative which retells the Trojan war through the eyes of Thetis, mother to Achilles.  Published by Esplanade Press (Scarborough), please contact Sue Watling ( to order copies (£8+£2 p&p). Further details about ordering from Esplanade Press, and places where Thetis can be purchased locally, will be added here soon.

Background to both the book, and Thetis’s story can be found in an earlier post titled The Tragedy of Thetis while a new post. Preparing Thetis for performance, is currently in progress.

From the back cover…

Goddess, wife and mother, bewitching, passionate and tragic, Thetis is the forgotten figure of Greek myth. Now her tale is told at last in Sue Watling’s stunning poetic narrative.  Thetis is a tale of warriors and gods, of mortals and immortals, of rage, revenge and love. A story as relevant today as it was three thousand years ago…

Endorsement from Sue Wilsea, writer and performer

Sue Watling’s ambitious Thetis is a tour de force. The way she melds narrative myth with contemporary idiom is remarkable. Yet this is not simply a modern version or translation of classical myths. Thetis also offers lyrical poetry which could stand alone as being of the highest order while remaining accessible and eminently readable. The end result is something powerful and unique, showcasing Sue’s impressive  talent for dialogue, imaginative story-telling and spot-on description. I have no hesitation in recommending Thetis to all readers – not just those of poetry. You will not be disappointed!

Sue’s first poetry chapbook, Heaving with the dreams of strangers, published by Jack Caradoc at Dreich (2022) is also available from

Endorsements from Heaving with the dreams of strangers 

This is one of those rare collections that manages to bridge the mythical and mystical to the land of the everyday. The poems are strange, rich and wonderful, with exciting turns and interesting imagery. Sue Watling’s skill with a lyrical line and deft use of pace and pause within her poems makes for a collection that draws the reader in and keeps them there from beginning to end. One to return to. 

Wendy Pratt, author of When I think of my body as a horse, (Smith|Doorstop, The Poetry Business, 2021, winner of the International Book & Pamphlet Competition, The Poetry Business, 2020). @wondykitten 

Sue Watling takes us on a journey through myth and history, redolent with the scents and sense of the sea, of landscape, nature and transformation. On the way we meet gods and mortal men, 18th century female seafarers, Red Riding Hood, Jeanne d’Arc, Venus of Willendorf and Delilah, moving from realism that is magical to magic that is real, touched by love and loss. These are poems that shapeshift from quiet power to loud striking beauty, creating a world and wordscape you will want to revisit again and again. 

Louise Longson, author of Hanging Fire (Dreich 2021) and Songs from the Witch Bottle; cytoplasmic variations (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). @LouisePoetical 

In this collection, Sue Watling uses nature, myth, and a touch of magical realism, to create memorable images for our disappointments, yearnings and fears. There’s an edge to much of her writing, achieved, without grandstanding, through clear, strong language and powerful emotional undercurrents. Despite the darkness swirling around the many voices and lives she writes of, she shows hope, pride and passion undimmed. 

Felix Hodcroft, author of Life after life after death (Valley Press, 2016) and Rehearsing for this (Esplanade Press, 2020). 

Myths, history, animals and childhood trauma swirl in and around this astonishing debut chapbook from Sue Watling. She leads us by the hand through the uncertainties of life, through love and emptiness. To misquote a poem from Sue – ‘her…skin invites us in’. A beautiful, unsettling read that left me wanting more. 

Lynn Valentine, author of Life’s Stink and Honey (Cinnamon Press, 2021). @dizzylynn 

I was drawn in from the opening poem in Sue Watling’s assured debut, which brings to life historical and mythological characters including women pirates, figurines of Venus, Norse gods, and Old Testament judges. Her language is as sparse and elemental as the landscape her work inhabits, where nature is the silent spectator to tender moments of fleeting connection. 

Susan Darlington author of Never Wear White (Alien Buddha Press, 2022) and Traumatropic Heart (Selcouth Station Press, 2021). @S_sanDarlington