This Kilt of Many Colours: David Bleiman, Dempsey & Windle

Different languages and diverse cultural heritages shape this multi-voiced collection. David Bleiman weaves his multilingual identity, embracing English, Scots, Scots-Yiddish, Spanish and Yiddish languages. His kilt is not only multicoloured but is also cleverly woven, expressing a striking richness of meanings. As Bleiman remarks in the preface: “I have found and assembled the ingredients of my o...

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Magnolia: Nina Mingya Powles, Nine Arches Press

Nina Mingya Powles is a prize-winning poet and zinemaker from Aotearoa in New Zealand, who is currently living in London. She is the author of several poetry pamphlet collections and the founding editor of Bitter Melon, a risograph press that publishes limited-edition poetry pamphlets by Asian write...

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Map of a Plantation: Jenny Mitchell, Indigo Dreams

The cover illustration of Jenny Mitchell’s second collection, Map of a Plantation, is of a beautiful woman of dignified bearing, and is a detail from ‘Golden earring’ by Gregg Kreutz. It seems outrage...

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When listening isn't enough: Rodney Wood, Independent Publishing Network

Rodney Wood’s second pamphlet is an original and powerful sequence of 21 poems about a challenging time the author experienced, his own difficulties interweaving with stories told by ‘Steve’, whom he ...

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Cov Kids: Antony Owen, Knives Forks and Spoons Press

Antony Owen is best known in the poetry world and beyond for his passionate work about war and peace. It’s interesting to see him take a diversion from his usual subject matter in this collection abou...

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When Peter Sellars Came to Tea: Trisha Broomfield, Dempsey & Windle

Trisha Broomfield’s short collection is drenched in memories in which characters from her childhood and adulthood vividly portray her life experiences in a humorous yet compelling way. She engages the...

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Letters Home: Jennifer Wong, Nine Arches Press

Translator, poet and critic Jennifer Wong was born and grew up in Hong Kong. She studied English at Oxford and received an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is the recipient...

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Anxious Corporals: Alan Morrison, Smokestack

Alan Morrison is a left-leaning, much-published poet and editor who can produce wonderful, ringing phrases of denunciation: “O what hope for red roses / To grow among the thorns of red-top-hypnotised,...

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'A testimony to the power of poetry': Write Out Loud's Beyond the Storm anthology reviewed

As we mark a year since the start of the first Covid lockdown, Write Out Loud would like to share a heartening review of our Beyond the Storm competition anthology that has been published in the quart...

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Inhale/Exile: Abeer Ameer, Seren

Abeer Ameer is of Iraqi heritage, was born in Sunderland and grew up in Wales. She trained as a dentist in London and completed an MSc, developing an interest in the treatment of anxious patients and ...

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Review

The Feel-Good Movie of the Year: Luke Wright, Penned in the Margins

It feels authentic when Luke Wright writes about the state of England; he understands the kind of people that voted for Brexit. They are the same people who believe in Essex lions; he knows them, and ...

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Yield: Claire Dyer, Two Rivers Press

This collection is about a mother’s journey as her child transitions from son to daughter; as the poet moves from seeing a “honeycomb heart shatter, fall”, to anticipating going clothes shopping toget...

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Jumping into a Waterfall: Anna Percy, Flapjack

Manchester-based Anna Percy is a firework of a poet. But I am left pondering what sort of firework – not a rocket, not a Roman candle, more a Catherine wheel, swirly, sparky and deceptively dangerous.

...

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Alexa, what is there to know about love?: Brian Bilston, Picador

How has a poet with a pseudonym, whose work mostly rhymes and includes a large slice of humour, amassed so many followers – more than 80,000 at the latest count – on Twitter? The answer may indeed lie...

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Review

Alexa, what is there to know about love?: Brian Bilston, Picador

How has a poet with a pseudonym, whose work mostly rhymes and includes a large slice of humour, amassed so many followers – more than 80,000 at the latest count – on Twitter? The answer may indeed lie...

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Review

The Alchemy of 42: Polly Stretton, Black Pear Press

Polly Stretton is chair of the Open University Poetry Society, one of the Croome Poets linked with a National Trust mansion and park in Worcestershire, and has worked with children in schools. Her fir...

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Open Windows, Open Doors: Vanessa Vie, New Departures

This debut collection of poetry and visual art by Vanessa Vie opens with an epigraph by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from which it takes its title, and a foreword by Michael Horovitz, veteran Beat poet and ...

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Pick Your Own: Amanda Bonnick, Black Pear Press

Worcestershire-based actor, director, producer and poet Amanda Bonnick holds a BA degree in philosophy and sociology from the University of Warwick. As a theatre practitioner, she has produced a numbe...

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Review

Alice and the North: Anne Caldwell, Valley Press

I’m no expert on the mysteries of prose poetry - but then, who is? Maybe Anne Caldwell, for one, for she edited a recent prose poetry anthology with Oz Hardwick that was published by Valley Press. .

...

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Review

What Survives Is the Singing: Shanta Acharya, Indigo Dreams

In her long career as a scholar and writer, Shanta Acharya has published poetry, literary criticism and fiction as well as business and finance works. Her seventh collection explores the vulnerability...

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Review

Poems from Cardiff: edited by Amy Wack, Seren

Poems from Cardiff forms a part of Seren’s attractively produced pamphlet series celebrating the spirit of places in Wales. The other pamphlets in the series are titled Poems from Pembrokeshire; Poems...

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Review

Passerine: Kirsten Luckins, Bad Betty Press

There’s no shortage of bold and innovative poetry coming from the UK right now, but you won’t read another collection like this one any time soon. Passerine is delicately defiant, powerfully intricate...

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Review

The Call of the Clerihew: ed. George Szirtes and Andy Jackson, Smokestack

A clerihew is defined on the cover of this anthology of 800 examples of them as “a childish anti-panagyric, a flat-footed, Hidibranistic, eponymous quatrain designed to cut everyone down to size”, and...

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Review

Riverwise: Jack Smylie Wild, Parthian

Born in Aberystwyth but mostly raised on the edge of Dartmoor, poet, nature writer and award-winning baker Jack Smylie Wild has been moving between England and Wales for the last 30 years. In 2011 he ...

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Review

'Write Out Loud was life-changing for me': Tony Walsh on how he became a poet

Leading performance poet Tony Walsh paid a heartfelt tribute to Write Out Loud at our fundraising Facebook event on Thursday night. Tony, who touched a global nerve with his poem ‘This is the Place’ a...

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Review

The Beauty Within Shadow: Henry Normal, Flapjack

I am going to admit that during lockdown I have found it very hard to read anything of any substance.  Newspapers, magazines, periodicals, online dross were all tolerable, but for the first five month...

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Review

The 'man in the cardigan' was gently ribbed by Ian McMillan. But does he have a point?

Over the last few years, I have got out of the habit of attending the TS Eliot Prize readings at the Royal Festival Hall at London’s Southbank Centre. My growing involvement with local, grassroots poe...

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Review

How to Make Curry Goat: Louise McStravick, Fly on the Wall Press

Louise McStravick describes herself as “a writer, a teacher and proud Brummie”. She is also a slam-winning poet and performer, and has said in an interview: “I started out doing spoken word due to the...

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Review

A Sense of Tiptoe: Karen Hayes, Holland Park Press

Karen Hayes spent the earlier part of her working life as an actor and musician and later artistic director of the Bristol-based theatre collective Public Parts. From theatre she moved towards lyric a...

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Review

Forest moor or less: Dawn Bauling and Ronnie Goodyer, Indigo Dreams

Exercise to preserve physical and mental health has become even more important during the pandemic. And walking is still a relatively easy way  – and currently permitted, within certain boundaries – t...

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Review

Poems from the Borders: ed. by Amy Wack, Seren

Poems from the Borders forms a part of Seren’s attractively produced pamphlet series celebrating the spirit of place in Wales. The other pamphlets in the series are titled Poems from Cardiff; Poems fr...

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Review

Belongings: David Constantine, Bloodaxe

A map on the cover of a poetry collection is always a promising sign to me. And that promise is fulfilled in Belongings by David Constantine, recent recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Jus...

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