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Showing posts from September, 2012

Guest Review: Mayhew On Green

Jessica Mayhew reviews #romance by Jess Green #romance is a collection that revolves around connections and interactions. However, as shown in the Twitter-inspired hashtag title, these are connections strongly influenced by the contemporary. These poems will speak strongly to the social media generation, and are tinged with the voyeurism that has crept into life through technology, as shown in ‘#romance.’ Green has a very modern voice; even when referencing ‘a Hughes and Plath affair’ (‘Another One Broken’), comparing it to her own emotionally damaging relationship, the reader would not place the poem in any other timeframe but now .  Green’s poetry does away with traditional idealisations. In ‘Another One Broken,’ the speaker of the poem remembers sitting alone in a cheap hotel, recounting the broken promises of her older lover: I drank champagne from the bottle in the blustering wind of an open window, the mugs were still stained with tea and y

Guest Review: Nobbs On Moore

E.E. Nobbs reviews If We Could Speak Like Wolves by Kim Moore In the pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves (Smith/Doorstep Books, 2012) most of Kim Moore's 20 poems are set in Cumbria and nearby places. Some of the people we meet are (or were) actual people, such as world-famous Graham Short in “The Master Engraver”.  Often the speaker is an "I"; sometimes a lover is being addressed, as in the titular poem – where the speaker poses hard questions about intimacy and roles: … if a mistake could be followed by instant retribution and end with you rolling over to expose the stubble and grace of your throat, if it could be forgotten the moment the wind changed… Moore’s people are in relationships, in communities; they holiday in the Lake District, go picnicking, get picked up at pubs, and attend services where psychic artists dial up long-dead grandmas while the congregation sings Abba songs.  “In Praise of Arguing” is an ode-rush of adre

Poetry Focus: Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor (pictured below) was born in 1978 and is a poet and reviewer from Leicestershire.  She is Greek Cypriot in origin and was raised in London before moving to the Midlands. She has had poetry published in a variety of magazines including The North , Staple , The Guardian and Iota . She has also reviewed for The TLS and Sphinx , as well as co-editing the magazine Hearing Voices . Her debut collection, Melanchrini , is available from Nine Arches Press which was launched this summer at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Maria Taylor, poet and reviewer   Larkin I September. Someone hands me a copy of Larkin, thirty eager teenage faces search me for clues. I will love teaching Larkin, I will embrace Larkin, ‘A’ Level Syllabi, York Notes, Spark Notes; we’re going to crack this Larkin like a walnut. II October. Larkin has moved in. My photographs are all of Larkin, the face on the television belongs to Larkin. In the crisp mornings birds

Guest Review: Bailey On O'Donoghue

J ewel Peadar O’Donoghue Salmon Press, 2012 I can pinpoint the moment when I knew this book and I were not aligned unusually precisely; it was when, having written a note about ‘control?’ on page 19, I turned it over to see page 21’s title: ‘This is a Controlled Poem’. And I thought well, that told me, except it doesn’t really, on reading it, as it’s not so much a poem displaying control as it is a poem dismissing it as a helplessly grey and sensible presence, “a Golden Labrador, the Sunday Times, / a bay-windowed Victorian semi, / a neatly-pressed shirt for the office on Monday.” If I tried to approach this implicit poetic as I normally read, it would be like bringing gravy to a sweet course; bear with me as I try to avoid the category error. It’s not just an implicit poetic; I later found O’Donoghue telling Robert Frost ’ s Banjo that: I feel that the magic is in the rawness, a rough diamond, polished pieces are not my style. I’ve tried a few times and the whole