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Shadow Dispatches by Polly Atkin

-Reviewed by Billy Mills- The landscape of Shadow Dispatches by Polly Atkin moves between waking and dream, the world of nature and the world of social interaction, in a set of extremely well-made poems and short sequences of thoughtful observation of both these worlds. The opening poem, ‘This Book’, is a clever semi-collage prefaratory piece…

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The Last Walking Stick Factory by David Hale

-Reviewed by Angela Topping- The Last Walking Stick Factory is Hale’s first pamphlet of poems, yet there is a feeling of maturity in the work. These poems have been a while in the crafting; there is a slow patience at work which sits well with the main theme of trees and wood. There is also…

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This Is Not A Love Thing by Victoria Bean

-Reviewed by Jennifer Edgecombe- This Is Not A Love Thing by Victoria Bean is a book that contains a six verse poem based on William Hogarth’s The Harlot’s Progress, the story of a young girl arriving in London and her life as a prostitute in 18th Century London. On receiving my package, I was presented…

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The Nail Forge by John Barron

-Reviewed by Fiona Moore- There’s a Buddhist epigraph to the last poem, ‘Noise’ which works well for all of this first pamphlet: “Listen, listen to the sound of the mind’s own utterance”.  The poem itself, characteristically, uses different senses to pull unnoticed things, from mildly disquieting to poetic, into the foreground: These fairground smells: rainy…

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Envoy by Tom Vaughan

-Reviewed by Judi Sutherland- Tom Vaughan is not this poet’s real name, but a pseudonym necessitated by his job in Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, where discretion was his trade. I’d be surprised if he gives many readings of his work. What we can deduce from his poems is that he has worked in Washington DC,…

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Claremont Road by Paul Hawkins

-Reviewed by Billy Mills- In the early 1990s, Claremont Road in Leytonstone was the locus of one of the most prolonged political protests of the Thatcher era when a coalition of local residents and longhaired squatters united to resist the demolition of the area and building of a link road through it. Their tactics included,…

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The Emmores by Richard O’Brien

-Reviewed by David Clarke-   Richard O’Brien’s short pamphlet of 13 poems, The Emmores, takes its punning title from Ovid’s Amores, by way of Christopher Marlowe’s translation, and also honours the name of the Emma to whom these love poems are addressed. Although not a narrative sequence, most of the poems describe a period of…

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Don Dreams and I Dream by Leah Umansky

-Reviewed by Keiran Goddard- First things first … Leah Umansky’s Mad Men inspired pamphlet, Don Dreams and I Dream, is really quite good. In order to explain why I think this, I’m going to have to talk about Mad Men for a bit. Mad Men is an odd beast. At its worst it is basically…