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A Piece of Information About His Invisibility: A Poem by Laressa Dickey

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – The cover of A Piece of Information About His Invisibility is a plant with its roots showing, and a small framed photograph of a girl (Laressa Dickey as a child?), enclosing a long, somewhat prose-y poem about memory and place (the Tennessee of Dickey’s childhood). The blurb tells me that this work ‘tracks the inevitable loss…

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Diadem Me by Bethany Carlson

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – Bethany Carlson‘s Diadem Me is published beautifully by MIEL press: the cover is an image of bright beads, scattered flowers and petals on white, like a bride’s dressing table, and the poems are divided into sections: Stature, Posture, Gesture, Pose and Repose. The title is theatrical, queeny: a sparkly crown of stuck-together words, glinting. By ‘stuck-together’…

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State of the Union by Susan Lewis

– Reviewed by Becky Varley–Winter – The cover of Susan Lewis’ latest pamphlet, State of the Union, shows ‘Marriage’ by Melissa Stern: two androgynous, different-coloured figures sit bolt upright, facing away from each other, straight-faced, back to back. Their posture is strong, but they appear absorbed in their own worlds: one closes their eyes dreamily, while the…

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Animals by Miles Salter

–Reviewed by Sue Kindon– I missed out on Miles Salter’s first collection, The Border (2011, written as Miles Cain), also published by Valley Press (an independent publishing house based in Scarborough, who appear to be doing sterling service), so I came to his second collection not knowing what to expect. The cover illustration, depicting two squirrels in boxing gear laying into…

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The Third Miss Keane by Tom Cleary

–Reviewed by Fiona Sinclair – The Third Miss Keane presents the Ireland of another era, seen through the eyes of an observant child with a rich imagination, brimming with characters whose eccentricities make them seem both human and mystical. Each poem forms a detailed narrative character study. Many of the titles bear the character’s names: Mattie, Angela, Old Billy. The…

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Larach by John Foggin

–Reviewed by Simon Zonenblick – The title poem of John Foggin’s chapbook explains that ‘Larach’ is Gaelic for a place that no longer is. Presenting stark but vivid images, he begins this twenty-­poem chapbook by contrasting that road in Spain; a hot night­wind, the churring of cicadas. Cactus; salt in the air with other rustic, Mediterranean…

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Faber New Poets 10 by Will Burns

-Reviewed by Zara Raab- He understands this place like a painter would This is the Buckinghamshire poet Will Burns, in his poem “Transmission” (referring to automobiles as much as signaling). Burns’ rural working class poems might have been penned almost anywhere in rural, working class North America—a bit rough but still tender, solitary, ruminating––but for…

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Lean House by Marci Ameluxen

-Reviewed by James O’Leary- Lean House is an unveiled account of the impossible loneliness of trying to take care of a mother with schizophrenia. In confronting this deeply personal subject, Ameluxen is most effective when writing in the third person, as in “Fairy Tale” and “Last Visit With My Mother.” There is a richness in…

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Advice for an Only Child by Anja Konig

-Reviewed by Judi Sutherland- Anja Konig, who was ‘raised in the German language but now writes in English’, opens her pamphlet in an upbeat tone, declaring as a personal manifesto that she writes ‘the world being praiseworthy’. But there is scant praise in most of her poems; rather, Konig’s work has a laconic chill about…

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Spaces of their Own by Russell Jones

-Reviewed by Anna Percy- The themes of this pamphlet are depicted on the cover in images: black space and an ape with a ray gun dangling from the title. The design throughout is clear and the poems are spaced appropriately which can be an issue for experimental text poems. Released in July 2013 by Stewed Rhubarb…