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Welcome to our reviews page, focusing on books predominantly featuring long poems or sequences.



Zoë Skoulding, A Revolutionary Calendar, Shearsman (2020): Alasdair Paterson, My My My Life, Shearsman (2021): Shara McCallum, No Ruined Stone, Peepal Tree Press (2021)

Zoë Skoulding’s , A Revolutionary Calendar, is based on the French Republican Calendar which was in use from 1793-1805. Skoulding uses the scheme devised by the poet Fabre d’Églantine who … Continue reading »

Bioluminescent Baby, Fiona Benson (Guillemot Press, 2021) Peripheral Visions, Moyra Tourlamain (Oystercatcher Press, 2021) A Time of Eels, Carol Watts (Oystercatcher Press, 2021)

Integral to our imagination In the eleventh section of Carol Watts’s new poem we are presented with a suggestion as to the roots of poetic art ‘rebinding speech from / … Continue reading »

Parallel Movement of the Hands (edited by Emily Skillings, with a foreword by Ben Lerner) by John Ashbery (Carcanet, 2021)

In her illuminating account of his early life, The Songs We Know Best (2017), Karin Hoffman dates the start of John Ashbery’s poetry writing life to 1943 when he was … Continue reading »

By Tiny Twisting Ways by Ian Davidson (Aquifer Press, 2021): Brightwork by Suzannah V. Evans (Guillemot Press, 2021): Second Memory by Pratyusha & Alycia Pirmohamed (Guillemot Press, 2021)

It might be interesting to speculate what answer in the spring of 1956 Charles Tomlinson might have given to the question concerning where poetry came from. He might well have … Continue reading »

War of the Beasts and The Animals, Maria Stepanova, translated by Sasha Dugdale, Bloodaxe, 2021

This is the first translation of the prominent and popular Russian poet Maria Stepanova’s poetry  into English, by the poet Sasha Dugdale, for Bloodaxe, and also coincides with the publication … Continue reading »

Tenter by Susie Campbell (Guillemot Press 2021), Sanchez Ventura by Simon Collings (Leafe Press 2021), The Dusty Angel by Vahni Capildeo (Oystercatcher 2021)

These three very different books explore the scope and capacity of the long poem form using subtly different techniques and approaches. The connections between the books and between the phrases, … Continue reading »

Two Girls and a Beehive: Poems about the art and lives of Stanley Spencer and Hilda Carline Spencer by Rosie Jackson & Graham Burchell. (Two Rivers Press, 2020)

‘One day, back in Cookham, he will turn this into pattern and meaning’ writes Rosie Jackson in ‘Macedonia, 1918’ from the collection Two Girls and a Beehive by Jackson and … Continue reading »

Robert Vas Dias, Poetics of Still Life: A Collage, Permanent Press, 2020.

According to a recent article in the Guardian (‘A picture of domestic bliss’, 7 Feb 2021) interest in still lifes has surged during the Covid-19 pandemic. This claim is based … Continue reading »

Let Me Tell You What I Saw by Adnan-al-Sayegh, edited and translated by Jenny Lewis with Ruba Abugaida (Seren, 2020).

Denise Levertov referred to ‘translations which truly appear to have ferried poetry safely across from language to language’[1] but the more distant the languages and cultures are from each other, … Continue reading »

Some Lives by Leeanne Quinn (Dedalus Press, 2020). The Day Laid Bare by Kiwao Nomura, translated by Eric Selland (Isobar Press, 2020).

Leeanne Quinn’s debut collection from 2012, Before You, contained a section of poems inspired by One Art: The Letters of Elizabeth Bishop. Bishop’s influence was apparent even from the vocabulary … Continue reading »

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