stateoftheunion

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…

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The Third Miss Keane by Tom Cleary

–Reviewed by Fiona Sinclair – The Third Miss Keane presents the Ireland of another era, seen through the eyes of an observant child with a rich imagination, brimming with characters whose eccentricities make them seem both human and mystical. Each poem forms a detailed narrative character study. Many of the titles bear the character’s names: Mattie, Angela, Old Billy. The…

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Larach by John Foggin

–Reviewed by Simon Zonenblick – The title poem of John Foggin’s chapbook explains that ‘Larach’ is Gaelic for a place that no longer is. Presenting stark but vivid images, he begins this twenty-­poem chapbook by contrasting that road in Spain; a hot night­wind, the churring of cicadas. Cactus; salt in the air with other rustic, Mediterranean…

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Ephemeris by Dorothy Lehane

-Reviewed by Steve Nash- Part daybook, part astronomical chart (and definitely winning the award for the most appropriate title for our ‘reviews of the ephemeral’), Dorothy Lehane’s debut collection Ephemeris is a dazzling expedition through the stars. Lehane clearly delights in the shapes of words and poems upon the page, and the varied placement of…

time for a change

News at Sabotage Reviews

-Claire Trévien- There has been some exciting structural changes to Sabotage Reviews in the last few months and I thought a post detailing this would be useful to everyone. As you might have noticed from our Vacancy page, we are expanding the reach of our spoken word reviews and looking for more volunteers to edit…