Tag Archives: Happenstance Press

poetrybingosmall

Poetry Bingo by Maria Taylor

-Reviewed by Harry Giles-   Poetry Bingo is, most obviously, a game. Each of Maria Taylor’s four cards features a traditional 7×4 grid with 16 carefully-selected poetic moves – from thousand-dollar words (“shards”, “breast”) to formatting conceits (“strike-through”, “…”), from structural ploys (“very long clever title”, “stirring epigraph”) to hard-to-find absurdities (“wolf-love”, “custard”). Taylor imagines…

the_last_walking_4eda19b429a40

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…

envoy

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…