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



Susie Campbell, ‘The Sleeping Place’ (Guillemot, 2023) : Ruth Wiggins, ‘The Lost Book of Barkynge’ (Shearsman, 2023)

Superficially, these two beautiful and substantially researched book-length sequences are alike. Both use full-page, open-form structures. Both engage with buried histories in specific landscapes. Both also address issues of nationality … Continue reading »

The Glimmer by Shazea Quraishi (Bloodaxe Books, 2022) Of Discourse by Giles Goodland (grandIOTA, 2023)

Reminiscence and expectation In their very different ways both Shazea Quraishi and Giles Goodland write about the central importance of particularisation and they would doubtless both express agreement with William … Continue reading »

Yang Lian, A Tower Built Downwards, trans. Brian Holton, Bloodaxe, 2023: Jason Allen-Paisant, Self-Portrait as Othello, Carcanet, 2023

Yang Lian is one of the most highly regarded mainland Chinese poets writing today. A Tower Built Downwards is the fifth book of his verse, in English translation, to be … Continue reading »

Northangerland, (re)versions of the poetry of Branwell Brontë, Andrew Taylor (Leafe Press, 2022): To the Hitchhiking Dead, Khaled Nurul Hakim (Shearsman Books, 2022)

There can be few more haunting images of a lost world intruding into the present, like an emerging palimpsest, than Patrick Branwell Brontë having returned home from school to live … Continue reading »

Sandeep Parmar, Faust (Shearsman, 2022): Mary Leader, The Distaff Side (Shearsman, 2022)

If the review of these two collections were to have a title, one possibility would be ‘The Shovel and the Distaff,’ referring to the tools that provide their central metaphors. … Continue reading »

by 'Branches of a House' Agnieszka Studziñska ( Shearsman 2021): 'Origin' JL Williams ( Shearsman 2022): 'Fairoz' Moniza Alvi( Bloodaxe 2022)

Agnieszka Studziñska’s Branches of a House, JL Williams’ Origin and Moniza Alvi’s Fairoz offer three different studies in the architecture of loss and belonging. The long poem form permits a … Continue reading »

David Herd, ‘Walk Song’ (Shearsman, 2022) : Stephen Watts, ‘Twenty-Four Hours’ (Monitor Books & Prototype, 2022)

In 2015 David Herd set up the Refugee Tales initiative to draw attention to the plight of migrants subject to indefinite detention in the UK. The project campaigns for the … Continue reading »

‘Wintermoon’,  Robert MacLean, Isobar Press (2022) : ‘Winstanley’, Simon Jenner, Waterloo Press (2021)

Pathways of language adjusting the mechanism of perception. Gary Snyder’s small volume of poems, Riprap, was published by Origin Press and printed in Kyoto in 1959 and it takes its … Continue reading »

Simon Perril – three collections from Shearsman Books: Archilochus on the Moon (2013), Beneath – A Nekyiad (2015), The Slip (2020)

Working with ancient poetic fragments is like grappling with shadows, grasping at shady, nebulous shapes that shrink away at the touch. As the Princeton Postclassicisms Collective has concluded, in such … Continue reading »

The Bridge at Uji, Tom Lowenstein, Shearsman Books, (2022). about : blank, Adam Wyeth, Salmon Poetry, (2021).

The Bridge at Uji, a collection of 117 short, spare, untitled poems by Tom Lowenstein, takes a bridge in a suburb south of Kyoto as its inspiration. Lowenstein describes in … Continue reading »

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