"Issue Eight of the South Bank Poetry" edited by Peter Ebsworth and Sara Nesbitt
This edition of South Bank Poetry is a fine collection of invention and wit, but has a strong political strain missing from previous editions. This is seen as a response to the recent political crises that have engulfed our country, notably the arrival of our new coalition government and the recession. Chip Hamer's poem "Consensus" is a good evocation of broken Britain, while Ebsworth's own poem "Looming" about Fruit of the Loom" ends with a chilling twist, indicating that the worst is yet to come.
There is still plenty of room for fun and delight here and Paul Birtill's "Mine Sweeping" is a hilarious recollection of his first stolen drink. Meanwhile Stephanie Gerra's two poems "Senses" and "Yuletide Roast" convey with relish and gusto her passion for food.
This is an excellent selection of poems, with something here for everyone.
Yuyutsu RD Sharma "Everest Failures"
A Review by Alain English
A poet and translator hailing from Nepal, Yuyutsu RD Sharma created and collated these brief poems as a tribute to those who try and fail to climb the mountain - Everest Failures, like the the natives of the Himalayan foothills "struggling for a bare surival in the singing Gorges". In his introduction he links the poetry to a friend of his who made an abortive attempt to scale Mount Everest.
Throughout the book, there is a sense of the poet both scaling the heights and diving into the fathomless depths of the human soul. Yuyutsu finds a kind of quiet mobility in tragic failure, evoked most strongly in his depiction of Big Issue seller. As well as crafting external observations, he also explores the sensual desires and dimensions in his own being.
The tone throughout is that of a wise old sage, mournfully but contentedly contemplating life's numerous contradictions. A good read.