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



Cantilena – one book in four spans by John Peck (Shearsman Books, 2016)

The epigraph to John Peck’s poem, Cantilena, is a quote from Kafka’s story of capital punishment, From the Penal Colony. It describes a machine whose glass teeth take twelve hours … Continue reading »

The Open Secret by Jennifer Moxley (Flood Editions, 2014)

Jennifer Moxley’s The Open Secret published in 2014 contains two long poems “Coastal” and “Evacuations” which form the core of this intelligent, complex book. In it Moxley examines the practice … Continue reading »

1948, A Novel in Verse by Andy Croft (Five Leaves, 2012)

A book called 1948, made of some eighty Pushkin stanzas, by Martin Rowson illustrate, riots of rhyme, extravaganzas. The cover’s ruddy bloody garish and Rowson’s drawings quite nightmarish, obsessive as the text, but still, full of telling … Continue reading »

How to be a Grandfather (L’Art d’être Grand-Père) by Victor Hugo, translated by Timothy Adès (Hearing Eye, 2012)

My own introduction to Victor Hugo’s work was learning a poem by heart for discussion in an oral examination. Fortunately it was a short poem and one that made a … Continue reading »

The Unmothering Class by Anne Ryland (Arrowhead Press, 2011)

In her note preceding the sequence ‘Haunting my Daughter’, Anne Ryland states her desire to give voice to those hard-working, working-class women of the early 19th Century who had ‘neither … Continue reading »

Largo by Paul Bentley (Smith/Doorstop, 2011)

As I began reading ‘The Two Magicians’, the long poem that constitutes the bulk of Paul Bentley’s Largo, it brought to mind David Peace’s novel GB84 and Jon dos Passos’s … Continue reading »

Long Cuts by J.O.Morgan (CB Editions, 2011)

I knew I was going to like Long Cuts from the moment I spotted the familiar brown cover at the 2011 inaugural Free Verse Book Fair in London’s Exmouth Market – a … Continue reading »

Life Class by Glyn Hughes (Shoestring Press)

I first encountered Glyn Hughes’ poetry in 1979 when I read Best of Neighbours, his New and Selected Poems. I was twenty and looking for a poetry that spoke directly to my own … Continue reading »

A Compression of Distances by Daphne Gloag (Cinnamon Press, 2009)

A Compression of Distances by Daphne Gloag, one time medical journalist, and scholar of classics and philosophy, is a paean to her life with her late husband, to whose memory … Continue reading »

Reaching Peckham by Hylda Sims (Hearing Eye)

Reaching Peckham is a book length sequence telling the story of a group of 3 disparate Peckham citizens. It is voiced by a narrator called Lorna, who is single and … Continue reading »

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