Penguin Modern Poets Three: A Review

This series aims to introduce readers to new, contemporary poets. I bought this collection as I’m of the belief that one cannot have enough Sharon Olds poetry in their possession and I’d never read any substantial amounts Booker or Shire although I have been a big fan of everything I’ve read or encountered. Suffice to…

Put that Phone Away! Review of Cal Newport’s ‘Digital Minimalism’

Everyone knows that social media is making us unhappy. If like me, you’ve tried to put your phone away, cut down on social media use etc only to fail miserably after a couple of days, you’ll understand the frustration of feeling like you’re controlled by the need to ‘stay connected’. What makes this book such…

Assembly Lines by Jane Commane: Reviewed

There is a very strong sense of place in this collection – almost enough to term it psychogeographical. The post-industrial landscape of the Midlands lingers on the fringes of most poems, taking centre stage for many. Commane sets out her stall strongly from the very start. The opening poem presents a gritty world with lines…

Milkman: A Review

I’d read a lot about this book before picking it up myself – that it was too obscure, too literary (since when has that become a bad thing?!?), so I was a little dubious before starting. I flicked through the first page before getting my hands on the whole book, and was instantly hooked. The…

Dostoyevsky Wannabes Cities: Bristol Review

If you’ve not yet encountered Dostoyevsky Wannabe, I’d highly recommend them. A small, independent press based in Manchester, they’re at the vanguard of accessible, innovative literature, producing work at a prolific rate (51 books in four years) One of their more popular projects is the Cities series, where they invite poets to collaborate to produce…

Allen Ginsberg – Howl: A Review

I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit San Francisco,  primarily because its synonymous with the Beat writers, who I was obsessed with as a teenager. Every year, I revisit Kerouac’s On The Road, but I realised it’s been a long time since I picked up Ginsberg’s Howl. Wondering if it still held the same magic to thirties me…

Lavinia Greenlaw: A World Where News Travelled Slowly

I recently listened to an old Scottish Poetry Library podcast with Lavinia Greenlaw (if you’ve never tuned in, you must. They really allow the poets to open up on their art and influences) and was really struck by the way she talked about growing up in Essex and the impact her scientific background has had…

The Woman in the Window

I’m a sucker for a thriller I can devour in an afternoon, and from the back cover, this looked promising. With quotes of praise from Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and Val McDermid, my expectations were high. The opening chapter immediately intrigued. Developing in a manner similar to Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, as the protagonist spies on…

24 Horas en Madrid

I’m really excited to be heading back to Madrid for a visit this weekend and to dive back into life in a HUGE metropolis. Obviously, the main attraction is reconnecting with all our friends, but I’m planning on visiting a few favourite old haunts and interesting new places. In the process of noting down all…

Parallax, Sinead Morrissey

Morrissey’s T.S.Eliot Prize-winning fifth collection is defined by the poet at the outset as Parallax (Astron.) Apparent displacement, or difference in the apparent position, of an object, caused by actual change (or difference) of position of the point of observation. It’s a collection about perception and paradoxes, opening with 1801, inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s ‘The Grasmere…