‘Dark Steps’ by Martin Pond

-Reviewed by Ian Chung- As a reviewer, I always find it exciting to re-encounter a writer’s work in a different context. In this case, my first introduction to Martin Pond’s work was back when I reviewed Unthank Books’ Unthology 1 back in April, which includes the subtly disquieting ‘Waiting Room’, here positioned as the first…

The Leeds Writers Circle Anthology 2011

-Reviewed by Nick Sweeney- The Leeds Writers Circle Anthology is a collection of poetry and prose, memoir, fiction and non-fiction. All of the works feature Leeds and its environs. There are obvious pitfalls in such an undertaking, and the pieces that work best show Leeds without bias, without sentimentality, and with a certain humour. I…

Five Dials #21

-Reviewed by Barry Tench- Five dials is a downloadable PDF literary journal from Hamish Hamilton and your first impression of this worthy publication will probably be that it is beautifully presented. Let me warn you, however, that if you intend to print it out it’s a good idea to get an extra black ink cartridge…

Bang Said the Gun @ The Roebuck 03/11/11

-Reviewed by James Webster- I had pretty high expectations for Bang Said the Gun. I’d heard nothing but good about the event and the Bang team had only just won the ‘Page Match’ championship belt and I’m happy to say it exceeded even my high expectations. What’s so special about it? Well, as host Dan Cockrill…

‘The Art of Wiring’

-Reviewed by Rosie Breese- The Art of Wiring is published by Costa-prize-winning poet Christopher Reid’s imprint Ondt & Gracehoper. Inside, elegantly laid out, is the work of six poets, including Reid himself, whose work is as varied as it is hard-hitting. Life’s ‘wiring’ is exposed by each poet’s intense focus on the connections between the…

‘Talismanic Contact’ by Andrew Nightingale

-Reviewed by Claire Trevien- When handing out various The Knives Forks and Spoons Press pamphlets to reviewers there was one that everyone automatically had a negative reaction to: Andrew Nightingale’s Talismanic Contact. It’s not a surprising reaction, the pamphlet consists of six figures that, at first glance appear to be gibberish. Beautiful gibberish of course: these…

‘Sullom Hill’ by Christopher Kenworthy

-Reviewed by Elinor Walpole- Sullom Hill is another discomforting tale from Nightjar Press (this one written by Christopher Kenworthy) featuring a young and impressionable narrator who reveals the pecking order in the social structure of small-town teenagers’ friendship. With vivid description that is almost grotesque at times, and a tangible sense of guilt and responsibility,…

‘Remains’ by G. A. Pickin

-Reviewed by Elinor Walpole- Pickin’s Remains is a tale of a walker (and a very particular type of walker at that- the protagonist is keen not to be associated with the middle class ‘Walking Business’) who, to his shame, loses his way. Opening with the warning from the third person narrator ‘He had set out…