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 publisher of New Departures, who is also described by Vie as her “Muse”.

As Horovitz recounts, Vanessa Vie grew up in northern Spain but “decided to stay in Albion for good in 2000” after “absorbin...

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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 number of plays for the Melting Pot Theatre Company. She is currently writing her first full-length play ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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'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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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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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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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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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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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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