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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

New Faber 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…

Observing the Observables #3

Observing the Observables #3

-Reviewed by Andie Berryman- At first glance this volume of writing and graphics seems quite testosterone-fuelled, kind of a kickback 1990s slacker re-imagining of the popular diaspora of late sixties biker culture offerings such as Easy Rider and Steppenwolfs Born to be Wild. The choppers are there but they’ve run out of fuel, they serve…

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Dark Matter volumes 1 and 2

-Reviewed by Penny Boxall- The yellow covers of these super-cute mini-collections are mysterious and inviting: think Aubrey Beardsley’s The Yellow Book, neat and minutely printed. Each volume showcases eight pages of poems from two poets; volume one features Mandy Maxwell and the series’ editor, p.a. morbid. Eight pages is a small space in which to establish…

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Nasty Little Intro #8 by Carmina Masoliver

-Reviewed by C.A. LaRue- If I had the technological skills, I would render this review wholly in GIF’s so that you might see for yourself how amazing this poet—a dead-ringer for Xena (Yowser!)—sends words flying by as fast and as buzzing as if they were swung on the tip of the Warrior Princess’ sword. Then again,…

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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…