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Hammersmith by Sean O’Brien

– Reviewed by Charlie Baylis – Sean O’Brien is “one of the most important poets currently writing in English” (does anyone know the dark knights behind this importance index?). I note O’Brien’s importance simply because I have never read him before, aside from some of the reviews he writes for The Guardian (which I think…

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Cain by Luke Kennard

– Reviewed by Humphrey Astley –  Luke Kennard’s Cain ought to establish him as the Stewart Lee of poetry: he’s an arch-ironist who isn’t afraid to make a satire of himself, and knows his craft so well that he can’t help but deconstruct it. This isn’t anything new – postmodernism is virtually mainstream – but Kennard’s take…

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Unnecessarily Emphatic by Kathrine Sowerby

– Reviewed by Elizabeth Rimmer – Unnecessarily Emphatic was first published in August 2015 and reprinted in January 2016 by Red Ceilings Press, who produce e-books and limited edition chapbooks (very limited – only thirty-five copies of this one). They seem to specialise in the weirder outposts of poetry, and I am therefore delighted to see…

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White Hills by Chloe Stopa-Hunt

– Reviewed by Charles Whalley – In White Hills, Chloe Stopa-Hunt writes with strange grandeur and evident faith in a special provenance and purpose for poetry. Whilst many contemporary poets gain much from having a coke with Frank O’Hara, White Hills recalls things pressed and dried between the pages of books, rather than the life we…

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Glass by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough

– Reviewed by Jenna Clake – The Glass of Elisabeth Sennitt Clough’s title appears in many ways throughout her pamphlet: a glass collar, a patio door, contact lenses. From the first poem, however, it is clear that simple reflections on glass aren’t the focus: this is a reflection on the fragility of family, and in…

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Houdini’s Wife and Other Women by Amy Schreibman Walter

– Reviewed by John Mee – Houdini’s Wife and Other Women, published by Chicago-based dancing girl press, is Amy Schreibman Walter’s second pamphlet. According to the blurb, the poems in the pamphlet are about a variety of “American women, wives and lovers span[ning] the decades of the 20th century” who “though wildly different, share one…

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Standing Water by Eleanor Chai

– Reviewed by Charlie Baylis – ” Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.” Today, mother is dead; or so confessed Meursault as Albert Camus paved a path through the existential morning fog of The Outsider. So what does Camus have in common with Eleanor Chai, a fresh and exciting young poet from Westport, Connecticut? “Your mother is dead” Eleanor Chai is…

Treats by Lara Williams

Treats by Lara Williams

-Reviewed by Nick Murray- Reading Treats feels like swooping in through someone’s window and slowing down just long enough to see what the inhabitants are doing before flying through the opposite window back into the night. It unfolds with the very first sentence and presents you with the hidden complexities of what can seem like…

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Collected Poems by Sadakichi Hartmann, ed. by Floyd Cheung

– Reviewed by Afric McGlinchey – Sadakichi Hartmann has been described as ‘one of the most intriguing and overlooked figures in the history of American poetry’ (Juliana Chang), and with this substantial volume, Dr Floyd Cheung sets out to recover what he considers a vital missing link in Asian-American literature. Sadakichi Hartmann, we learn, was born…