the-old-madness

The Old Madness by Kate White

-Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope- There is such a thing as a beautiful darkness. Kate White’s pamphlet The Old Madness, winner of the first Poetry School/ Pighog Poetry Competition, is a very dark, very beautiful book. Reading it is a bit like wandering into a moonlit attic full of tapestries, rich in detail, whose stories…

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Funerals & Thrones by JD Scott

-Reviewed by Erik Kennedy- For the poet of faith, the bedroom is a chapel, a hermit’s cave, a sanctuary; for the poet of desire, it is a bower of bliss, a cultic centre of fancy and aphrodisia, an eroto-grotto. For JD Scott, in the thirty poems of his second chapbook, Funerals & Thrones (Birds of…

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Sylvia by Antoine Wauters

-Reviewed by Morgane Remy- How do you mourn when you haven’t had the chance to properly say goodbye to a loved one? This sore question has no unique answer but plenty. And among them, the one given by Antoine Wauters is to create beauty out of sorrow… with the precious help of the iconic Sylvia…

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Cutting Up the Economist by Clive Birnie

-Reviewed by David Clarke- Clive Birnie’s pamphlet Cutting up the Economist is the result of a five year project in which the author created cut-ups of headlines and contents pages from the eponymous news magazine in order to produce poems which reflect on the economic upheavals of the period 2009-2014. The poems are presented against…

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Icumen by Gillian Allnutt

-Reviewed by James Mcloughlin- Coming in the wake of a series of Bloodaxe Books, Gillian Allnutt’s debut Literal Fish chapbook picks up where she left off with indwelling (2013). Scrupulous and sparse, icumen embellishes wrought delivery with the finest branches of stark imagery. This is a collection difficult to penetrate on first reading but which…

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TEMPLE by Kristen Case

-Reviewed by Rebecca Tamás-   The first thing you notice on picking up Kristen Case’s chapbook TEMPLE is the beauty of its presentation. Produced by MIEL books, a small publisher based in Belgium, the chapbook is hand-bound and hand-printed in thick cream card, somehow delicate and substantial at the same time. This is not however…

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Flood Drain by Tom Chivers

-Reviewed by Hayden Westfield Bell- Tom Chivers’ Flood Drain, published by Annexe, is a dreamy stream of consciousness poem ‘inspired by a two-day drift down the river Hull’, in which the author intends to tap into ‘an altered state of consciousness, a state of dreaming […] to listen to the murmur, or the howling, of…

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Fur, Feather and Fen by Elaine Ewart

-Reviewed by Bethany W Pope- Elaine Ewart’s first pamphlet Fur, Feather and Fen (£3, FlightFeather Press) is primarily composed of poems that the author wrote while serving as the first Fenland Poet Laureate. Fittingly, the poems are largely focused on the natural world, inhabiting the perspectives of various birds and animals. The poems have a…

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14 by Lisa Matthews

-Reviewed by James Mcloughlin- Vertebrae spinning towards you, the meat and matter of me intent on finding their own dark star. Lisa Matthews’ chapbook features selected poems from her up-coming collection La Quatorzième. Published by LiteralFish, it is a short but sinewy blast of fluid yet ultimately focussed poems that revel in playing with themes…

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The Word Museum by Richard Moorhead

-Reviewed by Claire Trévien- Richard Moorhead has a reputation for being a poet with a taste for poetic sequences particularly well-suited to the pamphlet format. His first pamphlet, The Reluctant Vegetarian, was a sequence of poems presented as if they were dictionary entries, defining and redefining fruit and vegetable. His new endeavour, The Word Museum, upgrades…