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The Ascent of Kinder Scout by Peter Riley

-Reviewed by David Clarke- It seems to me that there is a history yet to be written about the relationship between English poetry and walking. True, we have Rebecca Solint’s (notably non Anglo-centric) cultural history of walking, Wanderlust. But English poets are so often explorers of the landscape on foot, and write about that exploration…

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The Great Vowel Shift by Robin Houghton

-Reviewed by Afric McGlinchey- Robin Houghton’s chapbook, beautifully produced by Telltale Press, is an engaging collection of amuse-bouches, alternating droll, ‘slant’ narratives with subtle poignancy. Houghton’s preferred form is long-lined stanzas usually two or three lines in length, although there is pleasing variety. Her voice is clear and unaffected. The poems are accessible enough to…

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Museum Pieces by Wendy Pratt

-Reviewed by Claire Trévien- The opening poem to Museum Pieces, and its namesake, tells us that ‘These things are not the quiet keepers / of another time, they are not static’. An appropriate summary for a collection that veers between an exploration of times long buried with a real zest for life. Wendy Pratt is…

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300 to 1 by Monkey Poet

-Reviewed by James Webster- I was unfortunate to miss Monkey Poet‘s epic satire of Frank Miller/Zach Snyder’s homoerotic, pro-war extravaganza at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, so I was really pleased to be able to catch it in Oxford this month. It’s a bit of an ‘out there’ idea: a teenager struggling with poetry homework…

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Bare Fiction #3

-Reviewed by Jennifer Wong- Contemporary avant-garde creative journal Now in its third issue, the new 80-page literary journal, Bare Fiction, is a delightful read. Boasting a contemporary, forward-looking and experimental slant, the magazine features an ambitious range of writers, including many exciting young voices published for the first time. Its poetry section reflects a bold,…

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Kiss Of The Viking by Julie Maclean

-Reviewed by Lucy Furlong- In an interview with Tania Hershman last year, Julie Maclean said that she loves ‘to feel the spirit of a place’, and in her new pamphlet, Kiss of the Viking, she manages to convey that spirit in her poems, written after a study tour of Scandinavia. These are not ‘holiday’ poems,…

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1001 Louisiana Nights: Hot New Poetry from the Humid State

-Reviewed by C.A. LaRue- Whether chasing the rhythms of old-school Acadiana, the Wild West rodeo or Scheherazade herself, the latest crop of Louisiana small press poetry is as seductive as hell. Start your sultry adventure off right with a careful perusal of Marthe Reed’s sexy Nights Reading, an “engagement” with Francis Burton’s translation of the…

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Marrow by Sabne Raznik

 -Reviewed by Matthew Halliday- Marrow is a mini-pamphlet dedicated to the memory of the author’s nephew from cancer, and other children who suffer from the disease. It is composed of three poems: “Mrs Albuninah” is a relatively long piece, and there are two shorter ones at the end: “Memory Fractured” and “Marrow”. Although it is…