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

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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. His conversational, long-line and generous poetry is often also humourous, even though he retained a sharp view of humanity.

Several poems in this collection were written when he was already ill a...

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Review

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

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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 the mid-19th century and that is just in the West. In the East, its origins go back even further. Non...

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Review

The Shadow Factory: Deborah Harvey, Indigo Dreams

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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...

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Review

The Last Parent: Anne Stewart, Second Light

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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...

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Review

Sodium 136: Carole Bromley, Calder Valley Poetry

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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...

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Review

Reel to Reel: David Cooke, Dempsey & Windle

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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...

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