Commandments is divided into two distinct parts. The first part has two main points of focus: one is the Ten Commandments, each of which Jackie Wills re-states with such sensitivity and understanding that the impact is sometimes overwhelming; the other is the poet herself in poems which look inward but which have a universal relevance. The ‘commandment’ poems and what the poet refers to as the ‘me’ poems interweave in this first section to extraordinary effect. By contrast, the second part of the book consists of a cycle of landscape poems, largely about Wills’s home territory, Brighton and its environs.
Jackie Wills' first collection Powder Tower (Arc, 1995) was shortlisted for the 1995 T.S. Eliot Prize and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her second collection, Party (Leviathan), was published in 2000 and her third, Fever Tree (Arc), in 2003. In 2004, Mslexia magazine named her one of the top ten new women poets of the decade and also in 2004, she was poet in residence at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.