A stunning pamphlet by poet Mark Pajak

Spitting Distance is a Laureate’s Choice pamphlet from 2016 that I bought after hearing the poet read at an event in Bristol last year. From the moment he finished reading the first stanza of his first poem, I knew it would be special due to the concision of the language and the way in which…

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: Selected Poems. A Review

This is an extensive selection of poems, many of which feel like the poetic interpretation of a Chagall painting, full of dream-like, surreal imagery haunted by ghosts and steeped in natural imagery such as ‘The Girl who Married the Reindeer’. The earlier poems at the beginning of the collection are filled with references to agriculture…

Lantern, Sean Hewitt: A Review

This debut collection feels very much like a prayer in praise of the natural world and the symbiosis between man and nature. Almost every poem is steeped in the language of the natural world and many make direct reference to religion. From the opening poem ‘Leaf’, we are treated to natural images that feel both…

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…

Selected Poems: A Review

My first encounter with Paterson’s work was his second collection, God’s Gift to Women, a Poetry Book Society recommendation. One of the things I love most about that collection is the way Paterson has mixed a whole host of different elements to create a real poetry personality – there are references to ancient Greek mythology…

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…

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…