Wild Orchids: Simon Fletcher, Offa's Press

Simon Fletcher is a freelance writer, editor and poet who lives in Shropshire, and has published a number of poetry collections. He runs workshops in green spaces and places, and was commended in last year’s Michael Marks Environmental Poet of the Year award.

His latest pamphlet collection is centred in a world of wild orchids and long-abandoned stone quarries, “these low worked-out limestone h...

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Review

Earth Walker: Ros Woolner, Offa's Press

Ros Woolner grew up in the Thames Valley. After studying and working in Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Germany and West Africa, she now lives in Wolverhampton, where she works as a translator. She is a member of Bilston Writers and Cannon Poets. She won the Guernsey International Poetry Competitio...

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Review

Picture this: poets give their support to north-east photographic gallery forced to close

A much-loved photographic and film gallery in the centre of Newcastle was forced to close in April after losing its Arts Council grant, and facing rising energy bills. But that’s not the end of the st...

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Review

The Spaces Between Us, eds. Kathleen Morgan, Jamie Stewart and Oz Hardwick,  Indigo Dreams

This miscellany of poetry and prose comprises the eighth annual Wordspace anthology produced in collaboration with Indigo Dreams Publishing. All of the 30 contributors in this volume, ranging from est...

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Review

To the lighthouse? Pointing out new directions at bookshop reading

Before the bookshop reading I spoke to another early arrival, a man who had only recently retired. Since retiring he had discovered writing, and now rarely thought of anything else. He had come, he sa...

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Review

Out for Air: Olly Todd, Penned in the Margins

What do poetry and skateboarding have in common? The answer might well be Olly Todd. Former professional skateboarder turned poet, Todd now lives in East Sussex. His poems have appeared in Ambit, The ...

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After: Mark Connors, Yaffle

Too many fine poetry collections are published and then languish, unsung. That’s just the way it is. This review is an attempt to redress the balance in the case of just one of those collections – Aft...

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Review

Under the Ice: the sounds of Antarctica, by poet, composer, and scientists

“Immense creaks, cracks, rumbles …” a few of the opening words from Northumberland poet Katrina Porteous’s ‘Under the Ice’, a 30-minute poetry performance with electronic music by the late Peter Zinov...

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Review

Remembering Henry: poets gather to aid children’s cancer charity

This weekend marks the Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering, a three-day festival of street entertainment, indoor events, music, dance, craft, dialect, heritage and general fun that’s held the weekend after...

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Review

Yes Life: Dominic Berry, Flapjack Press

Manchester-based performance poet Dominic Berry has twice been voted best spoken word artist in the Saboteur awards. The affirmative title Yes Life gives a major clue to the uplifting content of most ...

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'It's me, she said. It was the physio': Michael Rosen recounts his Covid ordeal, step by step, in new collection

In early March 2020 the poet Michael Rosen was doing what he normally did, making school visits, socialising. Then Covid struck him down, and nearly killed him. He spent three months in hospital, of w...

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Review

The Ghostly Effect: Paul Surman, Dempsey & Windle

Oxford-based poet Paul Surman’s first collection, Places (Oversteps Books) was published in 2018. A further collection, Seasons of Damage and Beauty (Dempsey & Windle) followed in 2021. He is a member...

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Review

The Taking Part: Joe Williams, Maytree Press

This short collection by Joe Williams comes with an evocative cover image by Walker Scott. In a Lowryesque scene in a back street a hunched figure passes by while two youngsters play football, the goa...

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Review

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head: Warsan Shire, Chatto & Windus

Warsan Shire’s first full collection captivates the reader with the precision and pressing rhythm of her lines that reflect the urgency of her message. Shire is a Somali-British poet who was born in N...

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Review

Reinforcements! Yorkshire contingent joins Words on the Wall

You might be forgiven in February for shivering at the thought of Northumberland’s Words on the Wall, given Hexham’s setting, close to the evocative Hadrian’s Wall. Cold, bleak, inhospitable? Not a bi...

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Review

Resurrection of a Black Man: Jenny Mitchell, Indigo Dreams

Jenny Mitchell’s impressive and award-winning two previous collections – both reviewed by Write Out Loud – were largely about Britain’s involvement in slavery, and its pain, misery and legacy as seen ...

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Review

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head: Warsan Shire, Chatto & Windus

Warsan Shire’s first full collection captivates the reader with the precision and pressing rhythm of her lines that reflect the urgency of her message. Shire is a Somali-British poet who was born in N...

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Review

For those in peril ... a heady brew of music, poetry and beer

Music and poetry is generally a good mix. Add beer, history, and stirring tales of lifeboats, and you have all the ingredients for a heady brew. And so it proved at Newcastle’s Biscuit Factory art gal...

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Review

Taking the last bus home after nights like these! Brian Bilston wows big audience at the New Poetry Shack in London

The hugely popular “poet laureate of Twitter” Brian Bilston has always been somewhat of a mystery man, keen to obscure his true identity and limiting his public appearances. He does seem to be getting...

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Review

Second Glance: Ron Scowcroft, Oversteps Books

Ron Scowcroft lives in Lancaster. His pamphlet Moon Garden was published by Wayleave Press in 2014 and his full collection Second Glance by Oversteps Books in 2022. A number of poems in the latter hav...

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Review

Workwear: Carla Scarano D'Antonio, The High Window Press

There is much to admire and enjoy in Workwear. Carla Scarano D’Antonio’s clarity of vision, disarming directness and artist’s eye for detail take us on a journey in which portraiture, domesticity and ...

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Review

Poet of the borderlands: uncovering the riches of Northumberland with Noel Hodgson

To Horncliffe, the most northerly village in England, on the southern side of the river Tweed, for a poetry reading. It is what the Scots call a dreich day, cold and wet. Well, it is January. But the ...

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