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Review of ‘Overlap’ by Valerie Bence

This is the first time I have had an opportunity to review a publication by the excellent publisher, The Emma Press. Overlap (The Emma Press, 2022) is a pamphlet by poet, Valerie Bence, and introduces us to three grandmothers, Winifred, Harriet and Valerie Bence herself. The first part of this thoroughly engaging pamphlet recreates inContinue reading “Review of ‘Overlap’ by Valerie Bence”

Review of ‘A Spark in the Darkness’ by Kate Young

Entrants to local, national and international poetry competitions may be familiar with the name, Kate Young. She has an impressive record of reaching the final stages. Most recently she was placed second in the Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition, and in 2021 she was placed third in the Vernal Equinox Competition and won theContinue reading “Review of ‘A Spark in the Darkness’ by Kate Young”

Review of ‘Who am I supposed to be driving?’ by Clare O’Brien

Regular visitors to this website will know I have a particular interest in ekphrastic poetry. Having written a collection of such poems in 2021, Unmuted, I am well aware of the challenges presented by the genre, the most important being the capacity for the poems to be able to stand alone: i.e. for me theyContinue reading “Review of ‘Who am I supposed to be driving?’ by Clare O’Brien”

Review of ‘Fool’s Paradise’ by Zoe Brooks

Sometimes a poetry book crosses your desk that you know instantly is very special. You don’t have to read very much of Fool’s Paradise (Black Eyes Publishing, 2022) to recognise that this is a remarkable book written by a highly-skilled poet totally at ease with her craft. I knew Zoe Brooks’ writing from her collection,Continue reading “Review of ‘Fool’s Paradise’ by Zoe Brooks”

Review of ‘I call upon the witches’ by Chloe Hanks

Though this blog has only scratched the surface of the rich seam of poetic talent writing today, I hope it has helped promote some new writers that are worthy of readers’ attention.  We have much to thank the editors of small poetry presses for. They work tirelessly and often with little reward to discover andContinue reading “Review of ‘I call upon the witches’ by Chloe Hanks”

Review of ‘Earthworks’ by Stewart Carswell

One of the pleasures of regularly writing reviews is the opportunity to read closely the work of some of today’s finest, young writers. Over the last two years I have been stunned by the quality of writing that some of these writers are producing. Stewart Carswell is a young writer to add to that group.Continue reading “Review of ‘Earthworks’ by Stewart Carswell”

Review of ‘Wrappings in Bespoke’ by Sanjeev Sethi

Back in August 2020 my intention was to use this blog to draw readers’ attention to debut collections, but as time went on I decided to vary the content by occasionally inviting more established poets to share insights into their new works. Well, they don’t come more established than Sanjeev Sethi. The quality of hisContinue reading “Review of ‘Wrappings in Bespoke’ by Sanjeev Sethi”

Review of ‘In the simmer dim’ by Barbara Cumbers

This week it is my pleasure to review Barbara Cumbers’ memorable depiction of the Shetland Islands in her latest collection, In the simmer dim (Dempsey and Windle, 2022). I have known Barbara for some time as a fellow member of the Open University Poets’ Society and have long been an admirer of her poetry. ItContinue reading “Review of ‘In the simmer dim’ by Barbara Cumbers”

Review of ‘Football is Poetry’ (Tonic Sta Press, 2021)

To celebrate the imminent second anniversary of this blog something different: instead of reviewing a collection, I have chosen to review a compellingly original anthology entitled Football is Poetry (Tonic Sta Press, 2021), the brainchild of Mark Coverdale, assisted by Owen Collins. Inspired by the formats of a match day programme and a football stickerContinue reading “Review of ‘Football is Poetry’ (Tonic Sta Press, 2021)”

Review of ‘Time Matters’ by Julie Anne Gilligan

Being a fellow member of the Poetry Society of the Open University, I have known the work of long-standing member, Julie Anne Gilligan, for some time. Therefore I am delighted to have the opportunity to review her new pamphlet, Time Matters(Dempsey and Windle, 2022). It displays all those qualities that I have come to knowContinue reading “Review of ‘Time Matters’ by Julie Anne Gilligan”