viking

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,…

20141014_193556

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…

VT2A4231 (1)

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…

cb99d49e-635386956942367981-0d5b1c_960_Raw

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…

dt.common.streams.StreamServer

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…

screenshot201407a

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’:…

escha-thumb

An Eschatological Bestiary by Oz Hardwick

 -Reviewed by Steve Nash- An Eschatological Bestiary is not an easy pamphlet to define.  The poet tells us that the collection is ‘a complete exegetical interpretation of the dramatic rise of an apparently semi-permanent moral blank’, which is handy.  Part conceptual poetry collection, part apocalyptic encyclopaedia, created through surrealist techniques, and accompanied by Max Ernst-inspired…

the-half-life-of-fathers

The Half-Life of Fathers by Vanessa Gebbie

 -Reviewed by Bethany W. Pope-             Vanessa Gebbie’s debut collection, The Half –Life of Fathers, is a smooth, polished production that treats the evolution of a family history. The poems are crafted with a great deal of skill; there are no edges that threaten to cut you, every line ends on an interesting word, and…

Faber New Poets 12 Declan Ryan

Faber New Poets 12 by Declan Ryan

-Reviewed by Richie McCaffery- I was recently reading a 1989 review of Richard Wilbur’s Collected Poems by Ian Hamilton in which Hamilton talks of the ‘ringingly emotive punch-line’ endings of Wilbur’s poems. I think this phrase can be turned on its head for Declan Ryan, who seems to have a knack for coming up with…