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Review of ‘The Keeper of Aeons’ by Matthew M.C. Smith

Sometimes in the business of reviewing you come across a collection that is so impressive in its quality and so layered and complex in meaning that it challenges one to find words to do it justice. The Keeper of Aeons (Broken Spine Arts, 2022) by Matthew M.C. Smith is one of those collections. This isContinue reading “Review of ‘The Keeper of Aeons’ by Matthew M.C. Smith”

Review* of ‘Imperfect Beginnings’ by Viv Fogel

At a time when the discourse surrounding asylum-seeking, refugees and migration has become contentious, having been hijacked by nationalists and populist politicians, Viv Fogel’s Imperfect Beginnings is very welcome. Informed by her personal and professional experiences her collection gives a voice to the exiled and displaced. Though her poems are uncompromising in their exploration ofContinue reading “Review* of ‘Imperfect Beginnings’ by Viv Fogel”

Review of ‘kinscapes’ by Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig

In her biography Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig is described as an editor, a translator and a writer of flash fiction, reviews and essays, but if her debut pamphlet, kinscapes (Dreich, 2022), is anything to go by, she is also an intelligent and innovative poet who playfully pushes the boundaries of poetic form, with telling effect. kinscapesContinue reading “Review of ‘kinscapes’ by Marie Isabel Matthews-Schlinzig”

Review of ‘Some Indefinable Cord’ by Katy Mahon

I’m convinced that when we look back upon the current decade we will come to realise that it has been a golden age for poetry when a succession of impressively talented new poets were discovered by the editors of small poetry presses. Add to that list the name, Katy Mahon, a poet from Northern Ireland,Continue reading “Review of ‘Some Indefinable Cord’ by Katy Mahon”

Review of ‘These Random Acts of Wildness’

As contemporary poets invent more and more forms for their poetry, it is perhaps surprising that the sonnet is undergoing something of a revival. Last year saw the publication of Hannah Lowe’s superb, award-winning The Kids , which demonstrated so well how this traditional form can be used for current content and now we haveContinue reading “Review of ‘These Random Acts of Wildness’”

Review of ‘the end of the age of fire’ by Peter Clive

I think there’s something appropriate about beginning the year with a review of a collection that focuses on the most important issue of our lifetime: the climate crisis. Peter Clive’s the end of the age of fire is a passionate plea for the reader to understand the precariousness of the situation that we find ourselvesContinue reading “Review of ‘the end of the age of fire’ by Peter Clive”

Review of ‘Muckle Anima’ by Paul Waring

I can think of no better way to end this year of drop ins and reviews than by sharing with you my response to Paul Waring’s exceptional, Muckle Anima (Hybriddreich, 2022). I have had the privilege of reviewing a number of wonderful collections this year, but this is equal to the very best and IContinue reading “Review of ‘Muckle Anima’ by Paul Waring”

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”