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The Blood House by Sarer Scotthorne

– Reviewed by Andie Berryman – The Blood House is the debut pamphlet from Bristol-based poet Sarer Scotthorne. The cover is graced by the poet’s artwork, followed by a transparent page with blood blots which give me a first impression of what the poetry will be: an investigation, a look beyond the veil. First poem…

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The Goodbye Animals by Katherine Soniat

– Reviewed by Alice Allen – A pleasingly bound and hand-stitched chapbook of thirty poems, The Goodbye Animals won Katherine Soniat the Turtle Island Poetry Award (2014), run by a journal whose submission guidelines ask for poems that ‘explore and aim to deepen our connections to the natural world’. The poems in this collection go several steps…

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White Whale by Victoria Kennefick

– Reviewed by David Clarke – White Whale is Irish poet Victoria Kennefick’s first chapbook, winner of the Fool for Poetry Chapbook prize (2014). It is easy to see why this work attracted the judges’ attention. In twenty poems, Kennefick returns again and again to the sea and the image of Moby-Dick, the object of…

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THERESE by Claire Cronin

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – Claire Cronin‘s Therese is one poem in fifteen parts on the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux, released as part of a free PDF chapbook series (which you can browse here). It’s one of the most impressive things I’ve seen for £0, so I encourage you to read it and send Cronin flocks of birds or videos of baby elephants…

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Allegories from my Kitchen by Lila Matsumoto

– Reviewed by Colin Herd – Like still life sketches (or maybe sketches made using a spirograph, which circle round and continually reverberate outwards), the poems in Lila Matsumoto’s debut chapbook Allegories from my Kitchen take familiar objects as their impetus. In ‘Peaches’, for example, Matsumoto sketches “six peaches in a box, cradled by fleshy foam sleeves”. A seemingly simple…

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Gertrude’s Attic by Jaimie Gusman

– Reviewed by Anthony Costello – This is a necessarily bijou review for Gertrude’s Attic, a bijou chapbook beautifully designed by Chris Edwards at Vagabond Press. In an ambitious undertaking, Jaimie Gusman, author of One Petal Row and The Anyjar, interweaves the poetry (and poetics) of Gertrude Stein with the fabric of her own poetic outlook. The…

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The Bitters by Susie Campbell

– Reviewed by Angelina Ayers – Like those Electoral Commission Adverts “If you don’t do politics, there’s not much you do do”, poetry is (often/always?) political, whether it invokes daffodils or David Cameron. So is the title “political poetry” redundant? Maybe it’s just me, but that phrase is a bit of a turn-off, not because I don’t do politics, but because…

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A Bloody Mess by Richard O’Brien

– Reviewed by JPL – You dust the beauty of a death as yet unnamed irregular, reveal a new age of the old. All hail the self-stained bone-girl…… [Mary Anning] While tourists flock to the Jurassic Coast, it feels right to hail Mary Anning. It is not original to remind folk of the radical interpretation of history: that it is the…

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Kissing Angles by Sarah Fletcher

– Reviewed by JPL – sputtering for air beneath the surface of a dream     [Beach Combing] This is how Sarah Fletcher’s first pamphlet, Kissing Angles, ends. Beneath the dream’s surface are many faces of love’s metamorphosis, taking on moods and masks:                                        …