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She Must by Rosie Sherwood

-Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope- She Must, by Rosie Sherwood, is a very brief, barely illustrated narrative ostensibly based on the comic book format that describes a woman ‘who might or might not be time itself’. That quote is from the website, by the way. There is nothing so clear in the book. The book…

Young Skins by Colin Barrett

Young Skins by Colin Barrett

-Reviewed by Rebecca Burns- Young Skins is Colin Barrett’s debut collection of short stories. It is published by The Stinging Fly Press and comprises seven tales in total. About 180 pages long, it is one of those rare pieces of fiction: a crackling, blazing set of stories, written in language both jolting and poetic. The…

Escape Kit by William Thirsk-Gaskill

Escape Kit by William Thirsk-Gaskill

 -Reviewed by Sarah Gonnet- One of the main advantages of writing a novella instead of a full-length novel is the energy the shorter form allows for. William Thirsk-Gaskill takes full advantage of this. He creates voices for his characters that are spikey with humour and poetic sensitivities. The nuances and everyday characteristics of the characters…

Faber New Poets 9 Rachael Allen

Faber New Poets 9 by Rachael Allen

-Reviewed by Charles Whalley- Rachael Allen writes nervous poems of suppressed menace. In her debut pamphlet, the speakers are “always expecting / something to happen”(‘Regional Tendencies’), awaiting some approaching cataclysm like the “resigned” frogs “being swept downstream glassy-eyed and knowing towards the / open mouth of a drain” (‘Transportation’). In the poems’ strange perceptiveness, there…

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Hot Damn by Cat Woodward

-Reviewed by Sam Loveless- The little ghost on the cover may be the first thing you focus on when picking up Hot Damn, but it is the spilt milk carton it escapes from that is more apt to the first reading of this pamphlet: blood and vitriol have been spilled on many levels, and many…

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Tempo Maps by Daniel Hales

-Reviewed by Cathy Dreyer- At the beginning of Tempo Maps [Ixnay Press] Daniel Hales helpfully quotes a stanza from Emily Dickinson’s I think I was enchanted, confirming my suspicion that he is, here, preoccupied with the music of his everyday life. The text is a mixture of free verse and prose poetry. The pamphlet has…

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The Greenhouse by Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet

-Reviewed by Alice Allen- Many people are wary at approaching poetry on the subject of parenthood, fearing perhaps it will be sentimental, overly personal or trite. This is not a charge that can be levelled at The Greenhouse, a chapbook of twelve poems following a mother’s mind as it is dismantled and utterly transformed by…

Books

The Forward Book of Poetry 2014

-Reviewed by Rosie Breese- Any anthology claiming, as The Forward Book of Poetry does, to provide readers with ‘a strong sense of the variety, vitality and wit present in poetry today’ has given itself a tall order to fill. Can a panel of five judges really distil a fair selection of what’s current, interesting and…

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Bare Fiction Magazine #2

-Reviewed by Cath Barton- Bare Fiction is a literary magazine available in print and digital formats, but the magazine is only one part of what Bare Fiction represents. Its founding and managing editor, Robert Harper, is an actor and a producer and director of theatre and TV as well as a poet, and these preoccupations…