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The Dead Snail Diaries by Jamie McGarry

 -Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope-             The Dead Snail Diaries, ostensibly co-written by Jamie McGarry and Snail, is a sweet, humorous collection that gently plays with the idea that a poet can only become known after they are dead. The set-up is simple and absurd; a student walking home (his head in the clouds) accidentally…

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The Ascent of Kinder Scout by Peter Riley

-Reviewed by David Clarke- It seems to me that there is a history yet to be written about the relationship between English poetry and walking. True, we have Rebecca Solint’s (notably non Anglo-centric) cultural history of walking, Wanderlust. But English poets are so often explorers of the landscape on foot, and write about that exploration…

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The Great Vowel Shift by Robin Houghton

-Reviewed by Afric McGlinchey- Robin Houghton’s chapbook, beautifully produced by Telltale Press, is an engaging collection of amuse-bouches, alternating droll, ‘slant’ narratives with subtle poignancy. Houghton’s preferred form is long-lined stanzas usually two or three lines in length, although there is pleasing variety. Her voice is clear and unaffected. The poems are accessible enough to…

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Kiss Of The Viking by Julie Maclean

-Reviewed by Lucy Furlong- In an interview with Tania Hershman last year, Julie Maclean said that she loves ‘to feel the spirit of a place’, and in her new pamphlet, Kiss of the Viking, she manages to convey that spirit in her poems, written after a study tour of Scandinavia. These are not ‘holiday’ poems,…

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Marrow by Sabne Raznik

 -Reviewed by Matthew Halliday- Marrow is a mini-pamphlet dedicated to the memory of the author’s nephew from cancer, and other children who suffer from the disease. It is composed of three poems: “Mrs Albuninah” is a relatively long piece, and there are two shorter ones at the end: “Memory Fractured” and “Marrow”. Although it is…

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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…

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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Strangeways by Ann Matthews     

 -Reviewed by Fiona Moore- This is a book of verbal collages.  The poems trace a North Manchester city-scape of decline and desolation.  Description of moments and places is mingled with scrambled song lyrics by local bands and occasional scraps of street speech, shop notices, or fragments of officialese.  Here is the whole of ‘Industrial Estate’:…