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A Piece of Information About His Invisibility: A Poem by Laressa Dickey

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – The cover of A Piece of Information About His Invisibility is a plant with its roots showing, and a small framed photograph of a girl (Laressa Dickey as a child?), enclosing a long, somewhat prose-y poem about memory and place (the Tennessee of Dickey’s childhood). The blurb tells me that this work ‘tracks the inevitable loss…

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Diadem Me by Bethany Carlson

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – Bethany Carlson‘s Diadem Me is published beautifully by MIEL press: the cover is an image of bright beads, scattered flowers and petals on white, like a bride’s dressing table, and the poems are divided into sections: Stature, Posture, Gesture, Pose and Repose. The title is theatrical, queeny: a sparkly crown of stuck-together words, glinting. By ‘stuck-together’…

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Paper and Ink #4

– Reviewed by Steve Nash – Martin Appleby, editor and architect of the punk-tinged literary zine Paper and Ink, shares his hope in the opening notes that readers will ‘enjoy the shit out of’ issue 4. Truth be told, it’s not hard to enjoy something that bears so many marks of the passion that clearly went into its…

Because The Night Stacy Hardy

Because the Night by Stacy Hardy

-Reviewed by Holly Jazz Kotzé- Because The Night is a collection of short stories all by the same writer, Stacy Hardy. Here’s my confession: that bit of information somehow passed me by; an administrative error, a collapse in concentration, whatever it was I started reading this book thinking it was simply a novel or a…

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Book Slam – 29/01/15 at The Grand

- reviewed by Lettie McKie – The Grand in Clapham Junction is not a typical venue for literary entertainment. An old theatre converted into a nightclub it comes with battered stucco balconies, stalls cleared of seats for a dance floor, sticky walls, multi-coloured lights and a disco ball. However, in a savvy attempt to draw…

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State of the Union by Susan Lewis

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – The cover of Susan Lewis’ latest pamphlet, State of the Union, shows ‘Marriage’ by Melissa Stern: two androgynous, different-coloured figures sit bolt upright, facing away from each other, straight-faced, back to back. Their posture is strong, but they appear absorbed in their own worlds: one closes their eyes dreamily, while the…

Among Animals Ashland Creek Press

Among Animals (ed. John Yunker)

-Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope- Ashland Creek Press’ Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction is a complex anthology with an agenda that runs deeper than the themes explored in each individual story. The editor, John Yunker, makes his stance on the nature of the anthology clear in his introduction,…

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Animals by Miles Salter

–Reviewed by Sue Kindon– I missed out on Miles Salter’s first collection, The Border (2011, written as Miles Cain), also published by Valley Press (an independent publishing house based in Scarborough, who appear to be doing sterling service), so I came to his second collection not knowing what to expect. The cover illustration, depicting two squirrels in boxing gear laying into…