‘Better than God: Peter Porter

This was the last collection Porter published before his death – which means it’s no surprise that mortality is very much at the forefront. However, it’s not a maudlin collection – there’s enough humour here to give balance to the levity of the subject matter. The short opening poem ‘Better than God’ opens the collectionContinue reading “‘Better than God: Peter Porter”

Citadel: Martha Sprackland

The thing that really stood out in Sprackland’s debut was the sense of cohesion. The first poem ‘Poached Eggs on Toast’ creates images and motifs that are carried through the collection – eggs and yolks appear in many poems. The second and third poems form a mini sequence exploring Sprackland’s memory of being hit onContinue reading “Citadel: Martha Sprackland”

A Man’s House Catches Fire – Review

Tom Sastry’s debut collection thrusts the reader into a world wrapped in deadpan metaphors. The opening poem ‘A Man’s House Catches Fire’ sets the tone as self-deprecating from the outset with the lines: “I thought the smell of smoke was just me going off my head which I have learned to expect.” The poem endsContinue reading “A Man’s House Catches Fire – Review”

Review: Julia Webb’s ‘Threat’

This second collection from Julia Webb is published by the fantastic Nine Arches Press. Consisting of four sections, the reader is thrown into a world of violence, loss and family expertly examined with an unflinching eye. In the first section, ‘Body of evidence’ the poems have a sinister tinge, rooted in the physical. The openingContinue reading “Review: Julia Webb’s ‘Threat’”

Reviewed: The Protection of Ghosts, Natalie Linh Bolderston

The poems in this debut pamphlet are filled with ghosts – not ‘physical’ ghosts, but the ghosts of the past that live in the present through inter-generational stories and experiences. Natalie Linh Bolderston weaves a haunting tapestry of trauma, exile, cultural legacy and loss in poems that examine the scars left by the atrocities ofContinue reading “Reviewed: The Protection of Ghosts, Natalie Linh Bolderston”

Elisabeth Horan: Odd list, Odd house, Odd me

This collection is an ode to Emily Dickinson – to her work, her themes and her poetry. In an interview with Twist in Time magazine, Horan highlights the similarities between her own work and that of Dickinson in terms of themes, but this collection isn’t simply a reflection of Dickinson’s work – in some ways,Continue reading “Elisabeth Horan: Odd list, Odd house, Odd me”

Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

I loved his poetry collection for its astonishing use of lyricism and twisting of classicalism (like in the incredible Telemachus) so I was very excited to get my hands on this. I heard him read at Toppings in Bath and knew from the short extract this was going to be something special – the delicacyContinue reading “Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous”

Bright Travellers: Fiona Benson

The debut collection from the award-winning poet was a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Deeply personal, it covers motherhood, landscape and includes a beautiful sequence of poems for Vincent Van Gogh. The opening poem ‘Caveat’ forms an epigraph for the collection with its message that  it is possible to find theContinue reading “Bright Travellers: Fiona Benson”

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 whichContinue reading “A stunning pamphlet by poet Mark Pajak”

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 agricultureContinue reading “Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin: Selected Poems. A Review”

Wood Bee Poet

Poems, thoughts...etc.

The Pledge

Fired! Irish Women Poets and the Canon

Nicola Heaney

Writer & Poet

Freefall

'She would say to discover / the true depth of a well, / drop a stone, / start counting.' - Andrew Greig