Magnetic Field: Simon Armitage, Faber

entry picture

As a poet reviewing someone else’s poetry, I am acutely aware of how interpretation can be a massively subjective undertaking and as such, possibly at odds with the intentions and motivations driving the work. When the reviewee happens to be professor of poetry at the University of Leeds, has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and is the current poet laureate, (whereas the reviewer is,...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Visiting the Minotaur: Claire Williamson, Seren

entry picture

Processing bereavement and progressing along the difficult path of recovering trauma are the excruciating steps that delineate Clare Williamson’s poetry. Her mother and brother committed suicide and she was abused verbally and physically when she was a child. These  experiences are revisited and exp...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

'Just like a chat down the pub': Luke Wright takes a break - after 100 consecutive online shows

entry picture

There were times during his 100 consecutive online shows when leading performance poet Luke Wright felt that he “desperately wanted it to end, that it’s all been too much”. Whether he meant lockdown i...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Poems for the Planet: Mervyn Linford, Littoral Press

entry picture

Mervyn Linford has been writing poetry and prose for nearly 50 years. He has had work broadcast on local and national radio and has been a featured poet at festivals in Essex and Suffolk. His publicat...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

CoronaVerses: ed. by Janine Booth, Attila the Stockbroker, Roundhead

entry picture

Remember the start of this pandemic? The panic buying, the looting of toilet rolls? Seems a long time ago. Almost historic. On 18 March activist poet Janine Booth set up a Facebook group called Corona...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Review

192 Miles with Carla: Robbie Frazer, Dempsey & Windle

entry picture

An intriguing poetic journey is delineated in 192 Miles with Carla, the debut pamphlet by Robbie Frazer. The 18 poems are unique and diverse and never banal in their imageries and structures. Skilful ...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Haggards: Elizabeth Rimmer, Red Squirrel Press

entry picture

Elizabeth Rimmer is the author of two previous collections of poetry from Red Squirrel Press, Wherever We Live Now (2011) and The Territory of Rain (2015). In 2016 she was the Makar for the Federation...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

The Healing Next Time: 'This is poetry about an issue that should concern us all'

entry picture

Last year Write Out Loud reviewed a collection by Midlands poet Roy McFarlane that we described as "a serious and determined attempt to document in poetry institutional and everyday racism in Britain"...

Read more …

 

Review

Grenade Genie: Thomas McColl, Fly on the Wall Press

entry picture

Thomas McColl is engaging to meet, a quality that fully comes across in this collection of 25 poems that is deeply sceptical about the internet, kicks against the pricks of bureaucracy, and is laced w...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Blood Rain: André Mangeot, Seren

entry picture

I wonder how many of us can remember being taught about oxbow lakes in Geography? Reading the opening poem in this collection brought it all back to me. I can even recall the drawing that our teacher ...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Litany of a Cardiologist: Denise Bundred, Against The Grain

entry picture

This pamphlet of 23 poems represents the remarkable poetic distillation of a lifetime’s medical experiences and insights. Denise Bundred trained as a paediatrician in Cape Town and worked as a consult...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Review

Taking Flight: Aileen Ballantyne, Luath Press

entry picture

The opening poem in this collection, ‘Full Moon’, should be regarded as an augury for a sequence later in the book. The poet is travelling on a Boeing 777:

 

     I touched my leather rucksack,

...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

thirty-one small acts of love and resistance: Steve Pottinger, Ignite Books

entry picture

Steve Pottinger’s latest collection covers familiar territory for me. Three of the poems are centred on an incident at Wolverhampton Baths which is where I learned to swim and thereby gain sufficient ...

Read and leave comments (2)

 

Review

From Surrey to Sale, via Wales and Belfast: online open-mic accesses all areas

entry picture

Hands up who’s missing live, “real” poetry open-mics? How many have taken part in their online equivalents? I dipped my toe in the water last night, joining the fun at Sale Write Out Loud’s second onl...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Review

These are the Hands: ed. by Deborah Alma and Dr Katie Amiel, Fair Acre Press

entry picture

This anthology should be read at some time by all those who stand outside their homes on Thursday evenings clapping in support of NHS workers. Which is a lot of us. It wasn’t planned that way, but thi...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

A Second Whisper: Lynne Hjelmgaard, Seren

entry picture

Poetry can surprise us in many different ways. Reading parts of this collection took me back just short of 50 years. When I was a student, I lived in a part of north London that was close to Golders G...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

No Far Shore: Anne-Marie Fyfe, Seren

entry picture

The secondary heading of this literary-travel memoir - a combination of prose and poetry - is ‘Charting Unknown Waters’. And although Anne-Marie Fyfe had no thought of viruses when putting together th...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Luke Wright live in his living room ... but not in front of the children!

entry picture

Every night since the lockdown leading performance poet Luke Wright has been appearing on Twitter in his living room at 8pm – and last night was his 13th show. And what a treat for those confined to t...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Pigeon Songs: Eoghan Walls, Seren

entry picture

Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, Eoghan Walls has lived and taught in Germany, Rwanda and England, where he now lectures in creative writing at Lancaster University. He won an Eric Gregory award in 20...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Penn Fields: Neil Leadbeater, Littoral Press

entry picture

This collection contains a number of poems about what you might call unfashionable subjects – Midlands industrialism, a flight of locks through Wolverhampton, other kinds of locks at a museum, half-in...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Crawling Out and Falling Up: Dónall Dempsey, Vole Books

entry picture

Dónall Dempsey’s exuberant personality and imagination unfold throughout his latest collection. His poetry is inspired not just by romantic views or existential themes; clocks, baking, songs, animals,...

Read and leave comments (1)

 

Review

Doing the Rounds: Audrey Ardern-Jones, Indigo Dreams

entry picture

The title of this debut collection refers in one sense to the poet’s career as a nurse specialising in cancer genetics. However, the cover of the book portrays a globe, and Audrey Ardern-Jones’s poems...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Instead, Let Us Say: Dawn Gorman, Dempsey & Windle

entry picture

Award-winning poet, arts practitioner and freelance editor Dawn Gorman strongly believes in poetry as a participatory and collaborative medium and devises and runs community poetry events that include...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God: Tony Hoagland, Bloodaxe

entry picture

The American poet Tony Hoagland died in 2018 aged 64. This Bloodaxe collection can serve as an introduction for those previously unaware of him, and should leave them wanting to read more of his work....

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Anthology of Prose Poetry: eds. Anne Caldwell, Oz Hardwick, Valley Press

entry picture

Despite what it says on the back cover, prose poetry is hardly at the cutting edge of contemporary writing. As the editors point out in their helpful introduction, it has a history that goes back to t...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

The Shadow Factory: Deborah Harvey, Indigo Dreams

entry picture

Deborah Harvey’s fourth collection is very readable and accessible, augmented by notes at the back of the book. She has taken a range of themes, from ‘The Good Dogs of Chernobyl’, the first poem, to g...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

The Last Parent: Anne Stewart, Second Light

entry picture

Bereavement, loss and love interweave in Anne Stewart’s latest collection. Her sequence ‘The Last Parent’, 31 poems that make half of the collection, stands out for its insights into  the process of m...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Sodium 136: Carole Bromley, Calder Valley Poetry

entry picture

Carole Bromley’s Sodium 136 is her account of being diagnosed and treated for ‘A Benign Cyst Pressing on Optic Nerve’. This is the title of the first poem in this collection, in which we’re thrown str...

Read and leave comments (0)

 

Review

Reel to Reel: David Cooke, Dempsey & Windle

entry picture

A sequence of poems about the Grimsby fishing industry, from its boom years to its washed-up present, forms the admirable centrepiece of this collection. David Cooke, who lived and worked in Grimsby f...

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