Villanelles: ed. Annie Finch, Marie-Elizabeth Mali: Everyman

entry picture

On a recent edition of Desert Island Discs, castaway Tidjane Thiam  (chief executive of Prudential) chose to take Dostoevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov with him into his eponymous lonely, hot and sandy vigil, eloquently describing how the novel had accompanied him through dark times in his life.  He knew from experience, Mr. Thiam said, that this was a book that kept you company when you we...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Work Horses: David Cooke

entry picture

David Cooke won acclaim with a Gregory award in his youth, before decades of immersion in teaching almost extinguished his poetry. He left education to set up as an online bookseller, and the poems sparked into life again. First came last year’s retrospective collection, In The Distance, and now ...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Review

All the way from Kathmandu - Selected Jazz Poems: John Clarke

entry picture

I once saw John Clarke perform in Greenwich. He represents an exotic minority of performance poets who conceive their poems in a mindset earthed in jazz and blues. The poems are not lyrics in a con...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Review

Marsden's poetry jam: exuberant, embracing, cyclists not excluded

entry picture

Let me put my cards on the table, as a southerner who is in love with the north. It was the first time I had visited Marsden, and I’m afraid to say that as a result I no longer consider Hebden Brid...

Read and leave comments (5)

 

Review

Deadpan fun: John Hegley's oodles of absurdity

entry picture

The magnificently shabby surroundings of Gullivers in Oldham Street, Manchester, provided the backdrop for what turned out to be a hugely entertaining  bill on Wednesday night. The last time I scal...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Review

The Robin Hood Book: ed. by Alan Morrison and Angela Topping

entry picture

This is a big, important book, coming at a time when the national inclination is to boo George Osborne, to his great astonishment, at the Paralympic Games. Its rallying point is the campaign for a ...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Libra: Kevin Mills, Cinnamon Press

entry picture

I've read many books from this publisher, and this one further confirms my feeling that the editorial policy claims of Cinnamon to being “independent”, “innovative”, and international' are not with...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Review

A Complicated Way of Being Ignored, ed. Michael Stewart

entry picture

The problem with subtitles like “The Grist anthology of the best poetry of 2012”, is that they set up expectations that may well not be met. The critic, like myself, brings out his “I’ll be the jud...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Review

Climbing Postcards: Judy Kendall

entry picture

Judy Kendall is a widely acclaimed poet and translator, with two previously published collections under her belt.  Having previously taught at the University of Gloucestershire, and spent seven yea...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Stage to page - does it work? Slinky Espadrilles, by Ash Dickinson

entry picture

What do you do, when you review

A poetry book that disperses

written verses, meant to be read

out loud to a crowd,

who use their ears to catch

a snatch of orally-uttered words,

...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Review

Sissay sold short in Scribble celebration?

entry picture

I can think of no finer place to celebrate the poetic outcomes of community writing projects than Oldham Library, not just because of its contribution to the existence and direction of Write Out Lo...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Live Poetry: An Integrated Approach to Poetry in Performance by Julia Novak

entry picture

This is a cracking book, especially for anyone wanting to understand this movement, this growing, UK-wide phenomenon of people getting together to read poems to each other, in open-mic, spoken word...

Read and leave comments (6)

 

Review

The Heart and the Subsidiary: Fatima Al Matar

entry picture

A formidable intelligence roars through these poems, published by AuthorHouse, with a tenacious grasp of the idea that the smallest thing contributes to the whole. Or, perhaps, that no thing in our...

Read and leave comments (3)

 

Review

Dominic Berry's Wizard: When the world comes knocking at the door

entry picture

Dominic Berry’s poetry-fantasy-theatre extravaganza Wizard, seen at the Cockpit theatre in north London, is a cri de coeur on behalf of those who need to weave spells to make sense of the world abo...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Call of the wild at Cheltenham poetry festival

entry picture

A smallish room with bare walls up a steep flight of stairs, with only a single potted plant provided by the poet might be considered an inauspicious setting for a session on nature poetry. But Mat...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Review

Full Blood: John Siddique

entry picture

One is reminded at times, in reading Full Blood, published by Salt, that a poet can have multiple voices – and that some styles within a single poet’s oeuvre can work very differently than others. ...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

RSS feed icon

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message