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Encyclops by seekers of lice

– Reviewed by Ryan Ormonde – Encyclops has a past life as a set of paper bags, written-on, smeared, blotched and adorned with cut-out pictures. This ongoing work by seekers of lice (the lower-case pseudonym of an artist and writer) references encyclopaedias (which in part explains its name), and its present book incarnation consists of 176 ‘entries’, text only.…

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Difficult Fruit by Lauren K. Alleyne

– Reviewed by Bethany W Pope – Lauren K. Alleyne’s first collection, Difficult Fruit, is appropriately named. There is sweetness here, richness, but the pulp is problematic and there are some hard seeds hidden in the tender flesh. Alleyne has a keen eye for detail, a nose for a good story, and has already developed a very strong…

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Ransom Notes by Jacqui Rowe

– Reviewed by Alice Tarbuck – Ransom Notes is Jacqui Rowe’s fourth pamphlet, and focuses on the fraught relationship between constructing text and constructing meaning. The collection operates as a series of ‘ransom notes’, as the title suggests, in the long tradition of found poetry. Traceless fragments are collated and shaped by Rowe to form a series of…

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Ire & Salt by Jenny Lindsay

– Reviewed by Alice Tarbuck – Jenny Lindsay is a performance poet and Slam Champion who was an extremely active member of National Collective in the run-up to the Scottish Independence Referendum. Her pamphlet, Ire & Salt, is a selection of extracts from her upcoming one-woman show, based around her experiences in the run up…

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Do Not Alight Here Again by Rachel McCrum

– Reviewed by Alice Tarbuck – Do Not Alight Here Again is poet, performer and promoter Rachel McCrum’s second pamphlet, a wide-ranging collection that touches on homeland, national identity, and the ways in which those inform love, poetic practice, and political participation. The first poem, ‘Do Not Listen to my Voice’, touches on the key themes…

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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…