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Sunspots by Simon Barraclough

– Reviewed by Anja Konig – The sun is a playful star in Simon Barraclough’s Sunspots, his third full collection: it dresses up, disguises itself, and hijacks other poets’ poems. The book is a sometimes serious, sometimes comical homage to our home star, shot through with variations on themes and forms: the sun in art and…

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The Blood House by Sarer Scotthorne

– Reviewed by Andie Berryman – The Blood House is the debut pamphlet from Bristol-based poet Sarer Scotthorne. The cover is graced by the poet’s artwork, followed by a transparent page with blood blots which give me a first impression of what the poetry will be: an investigation, a look beyond the veil. First poem…

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The Goodbye Animals by Katherine Soniat

– Reviewed by Alice Allen – A pleasingly bound and hand-stitched chapbook of thirty poems, The Goodbye Animals won Katherine Soniat the Turtle Island Poetry Award (2014), run by a journal whose submission guidelines ask for poems that ‘explore and aim to deepen our connections to the natural world’. The poems in this collection go several steps…

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White Whale by Victoria Kennefick

– Reviewed by David Clarke – White Whale is Irish poet Victoria Kennefick’s first chapbook, winner of the Fool for Poetry Chapbook prize (2014). It is easy to see why this work attracted the judges’ attention. In twenty poems, Kennefick returns again and again to the sea and the image of Moby-Dick, the object of…

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The Knowledge by Robert Peake

– Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope – Robert Peake’s The Knowledge (Nine Arches Press) is a subtle, tender collection whose mixture of narrative and descriptive images inexorably draws the reader on to (occasionally painful) revelation. The book is divided into three sections, each bound by a loose theme. ‘The Argument’ is composed of naturalistic poems depicting the lives…

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THERESE by Claire Cronin

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – Claire Cronin‘s Therese is one poem in fifteen parts on the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux, released as part of a free PDF chapbook series (which you can browse here). It’s one of the most impressive things I’ve seen for £0, so I encourage you to read it and send Cronin flocks of birds or videos of baby elephants…

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Blood Spatters Quickly by Edward D. Wood

 -Reviewed by Sarah Gonnet– The name Edward D Wood conjures up images of Johnny Depp in a pink angora sweater surrounded by greyscale; or perhaps the famous scene on YouTube where one of Wood’s actors attempts to move the appendages of a plastic octopus at the same time as pretending to be attacked by it.…

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Allegories from my Kitchen by Lila Matsumoto

– Reviewed by Colin Herd – Like still life sketches (or maybe sketches made using a spirograph, which circle round and continually reverberate outwards), the poems in Lila Matsumoto’s debut chapbook Allegories from my Kitchen take familiar objects as their impetus. In ‘Peaches’, for example, Matsumoto sketches “six peaches in a box, cradled by fleshy foam sleeves”. A seemingly simple…