Tag Archives: Happenstance Press

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The Last Walking Stick Factory by David Hale

-Reviewed by Angela Topping- The Last Walking Stick Factory is Hale’s first pamphlet of poems, yet there is a feeling of maturity in the work. These poems have been a while in the crafting; there is a slow patience at work which sits well with the main theme of trees and wood. There is also…

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Envoy by Tom Vaughan

-Reviewed by Judi Sutherland- Tom Vaughan is not this poet’s real name, but a pseudonym necessitated by his job in Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, where discretion was his trade. I’d be surprised if he gives many readings of his work. What we can deduce from his poems is that he has worked in Washington DC,…

‘Close’ by Theresa Muñoz

-Reviewed by Afric McGlinchey- As the title of Theresa Muñoz’s chapbook suggests, these are poems that have ‘been felt’ as Elaine Feinstein puts it. The poetry in Theresa Muñoz’s début chapbook has an almost haiku-like clarity, accessible and delicate, full of the imagery of early love: ‘the old rain glowing in the street’; ‘your hand…

‘Spinning Plates’ by Richie McCaffery

-Reviewed by Afric McGlinchey- Richie McCaffery’s Happenstance Press pamphlet, Spinning Plates, is a collection of layers, interweaving birth and death, each of them with an arresting element. There are miraculous survivals, such as his own mother’s, abandoned as a baby on a doorstep, ‘tiny lungs like strawberries / full of pneumonia. ‘ There’s the late…

Poetry Pamphlets: A 2011 Top Ten

-Assembled by Claire Trevien- Pamphlets make the perfect Christmas present or stocking filler. For one, they’re usually gorgeously produced objects, for another there’s something manageable and enticing about their small size. So, if you’re trying to convert a loved one to poetry, you could do worse than spring one of these chapbooks on them. This…

‘From There To Here’ by Michael Mackmin

-Reviewed by Chris Emslie- The poems in this pamphlet are presented in the style of a gallery of paintings. From There To Here might best be characterised as a series of landscapes, interrupted by the odd portrait or sketch, but all bearing Mackmin’s distinct signature. There is a vividness to these poems that almost begs to…

‘What To Do’ by Kirsten Irving

 -Reviewed by Chris Emslie- Kirsten Irving’s What To Do is deceptively titled. The poems in this pamphlet present a series of speakers, each one snapped at a crucial moment. Whether this moment is one of crisis or epiphany, these characters are certainly in need of guidance. Rather than address this pressing question of ‘what to do’, Irving focuses…

‘The Thief’ by Gill Andrews

-Reviewed by Afric McGlinchey- Gill Andrews delivers a lightness of touch in her chapbook, The Thief, which opens with a poem called ‘The man who paints the bridge’ (a title that reminds me of the simplicity of Wislawa Szymborska ‘People on a bridge’.)  The first two stanzas ring with clarity: ‘His left hand holds a…

The Long Acre by Frances Corkey Thompson

-Reviewed by Julia Bird- It rains heavily in Frances Corkey Thompson’s Long Acre. ‘Rain blew in’ in ‘The Beeches at Pickwell’, ‘it’s often raining’ in ‘The Garden’ and the rain in ‘Fiat Deus …’ is ‘god-awful’ and ‘hammering’. When the poet looks through the window, through this blurring rain (‘I witness through glass’ – ‘The Garden’, again)…

End of Year Round-Up: Jon Stone

A continuation of the End of Year Series, you can read Luke Kennard’s answers here and what our reviewers have to say here. Jon Stone is the production editor and designer of hand-crafted art and literature magazine Fuselit and its press imprint Sidekick Books.  His poem ‘Jack Root’ was highly commended at the 2009 National…