2014-09-09 18.56.01

Crime Writer’s panel discussion with Mick Herron, Toby Purser, Helen Giltrow and Dan Holloway @ Blackwell’s

-Reviewed by Claire Trévien- Crime Writer’s panel discussion at Blackwell’s Oxford Fiction Week 9/9/2014 Small confession to make: other than a period around the ages of 13 to 14 in which I was obsessed with all things Mary Higgins Clarke (translated into French of course, which made names like Megan feel spectacularly cool), I’ve not…

Faber New Poets 12 Declan Ryan

Faber New Poets 12 by Declan Ryan

-Reviewed by Richie McCaffery- I was recently reading a 1989 review of Richard Wilbur’s Collected Poems by Ian Hamilton in which Hamilton talks of the ‘ringingly emotive punch-line’ endings of Wilbur’s poems. I think this phrase can be turned on its head for Declan Ryan, who seems to have a knack for coming up with…

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Alternative Beach Sports by Michelle Madsen

-Reviewed by Tom Weir- Alternative Beach Sports is the first collection by Michelle Madsen, a poet who has already made a name for herself on the performance poetry scene. It is a dense collection, packed full of the energy, urgency and humour people who know her work will be familiar with. It is a striking…

Posthumous Stories by David Rose

Posthumous Stories by David Rose

-Reviewed by Rebecca Burns- Posthumous Stories by David Rose, published by Salt, runs to over 200 pages and comprises sixteen pieces of fiction. The title may mislead some readers: these aren’t stories collected together to memorialise a deceased writer – Rose is very much alive. Rather, as the blurb on the jacket informs, the stories…

Observing the Observables #3

Observing the Observables #3

-Reviewed by Andie Berryman- At first glance this volume of writing and graphics seems quite testosterone-fuelled, kind of a kickback 1990s slacker re-imagining of the popular diaspora of late sixties biker culture offerings such as Easy Rider and Steppenwolfs Born to be Wild. The choppers are there but they’ve run out of fuel, they serve…

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Dark Matter volumes 1 and 2

-Reviewed by Penny Boxall- The yellow covers of these super-cute mini-collections are mysterious and inviting: think Aubrey Beardsley’s The Yellow Book, neat and minutely printed. Each volume showcases eight pages of poems from two poets; volume one features Mandy Maxwell and the series’ editor, p.a. morbid. Eight pages is a small space in which to establish…

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Box[Ed.] #1

-Reviewed by Cathy Dreyer- Box[Ed.], a new magazine from a group of MA students at Kent University’s School of English, arrived in a buff-coloured box, its contents huddled together like a pile of leaves in an Autumn garden. I felt quite protective of this small assortment, as if I ought to guard it from the…

The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim Craig Hawes

The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim by Craig Hawes

 -Reviewed by Sarah Gonnet- Reading the stories in The Witch Doctor of Umm Suqeim is a process of transportation. The tales in the book take you to the dramatic landscapes of Dubai; and then let you explore the alien places through the rhythm of narrative. Craig Hawes’ ability to create an absorbing sense of place…

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Nasty Little Intro #8 by Carmina Masoliver

-Reviewed by C.A. LaRue- If I had the technological skills, I would render this review wholly in GIF’s so that you might see for yourself how amazing this poet—a dead-ringer for Xena (Yowser!)—sends words flying by as fast and as buzzing as if they were swung on the tip of the Warrior Princess’ sword. Then again,…

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Can’t Care, Won’t Care by Sophia Walker

- reviewed by James Webster – Sophia Walker‘s Can’t Care, Won’t Care is a brilliantly traumatic show. Walker reaches into your guts with powerful, grasping words and twists until the tears squeeze out of your eyes. It’s hard to sit through; achingly, emotionally, superbly written and performed. Harrowing would be a good word. It’s cleverly…