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Reviews

BLACK CAR BURNING BY HELEN MORT

Black Car Burning by Helen Mort – Reviewed

Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985, and grew up in nearby Chesterfield. Five times winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and won the Manchester Young Writer Prize in 2008. Her first collection, Division Street (2013), was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry Award, and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. In 2014, she was named as a ‘Next Generation Poet’, the prestigious accolade announced only once every ten years, recognising the 20 most exciting new poets from the UK and Ireland. No Map Could Show Them (2016), her second collection, about women and mountaineering, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Helen has been the Wordsworth Trust Poet in Residence and the Derbyshire Poet Laureate and was named one of the RSL’s 40 under 40 Fellows in 2018. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Sheffield. Black Car Burning is her first novel.

Review: The Time Traveller’s Picnic by Fiona Sinclair

The Time Traveller’s Picnic Fiona Sinclair Dempsey & Windle  ISBN: 978-1-907435-83-6, 112pp, unpriced Fiona Sinclair’s poems feel as if you’ve sat down in a crowded, friendly cafe and can’t help but listen in on the conversation at the next table. They are chatty and welcoming, but not frivolous. The poems cover a childhood with parental …

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Emma Lee reviews Lady Jesus and Other Poems.

Lady Jesus and Other Poems Arathy Asok (Authorspress, www.authorspressbooks.com ISBN 978-93-88332-19-4, 70pp, 175 Rupees/$14) “Lady Jesus and other poems” is a collection of contemporary, unflinching poems that don’t back away from politics or patriarchy. In “They Ask me Questions I will not Answer”,  “They looked to see What crowds were being formed, That thought of …

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dream of stones

Emma Lee reviews Christine Valters Paintner’s – Dreaming of Stones

Christine Valters Paintner’s “Dreaming of Stones” Paraclete Press www.paracletepress.com ISBN: 9781640601086 96pp $18 “Dreaming of Stones” is split into six sections, Hours, The Time of Our Lives, Possibilities, Wild Places, Love and Monks and Mystics, and comes with an introduction and afterword by the author. There are 108 pages of poems and each feels like …

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Review- case of mis en abyme by Carla Scarano D’Antonio

Carla Scarano D’Antonio moved to England (Lancashire then Surrey) in 2007 from Rome (Italy) and started attending creative writing courses. She obtained a Degree of Master of Arts in Creative Writing with Merit at Lancaster University in October 2012. Her work was published in Shipwrights (an online Swedish Review), Purple Patch, First Edition magazine, Northern …

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Consciousness and Control – Room Little Darker by June Caldwell reviewed by Brian Kirk

Consciousness and Control Room Little Darker by June Caldwell 978-1788542906 Apollo (11 Jan. 2018) When Room Little Darker was published last year it immediately grabbed public attention because of the dark subject matter of some of the stories. Some reviews hailed it as a book which pushed the boundaries of the form, seeing it as …

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Jane Simmons reviews Anne Bevan’s first collection of poems

TESTAMENT ANNE ELIZABETH BEVAN ISBN 978-1-910855-82-9 £10.00 Lapwing Publications, Belfast. Testament, Cork based poet Anne Bevan’s first collection of poems, has already received praise from reviewers:Anne’s poetry gets straight to the heart of the matter – whatever subject matter she alights upon. Her words transport you on an inner journey of the mind and soul; …

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David Butler Reviews Maurice Devitt’s, Growing Up in Colour

MAURICE DEVITT completed the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition and was placed or shortlisted in many other competitions including The Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Listowel Collection Competition and Cúirt New Writing Award. Selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2016, he was a featured poet at the Poets in Transylvania …

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Emma Lee reviews “Afternoon Drinking in the Jolly Butchers” by Rachel Coventry

Afternoon drinking in The Jolly Butchers feels like being invited to join in a casual conversation with a group you found yourself sitting near to in a pub or café because the conversation sounded interesting and the participants noticed your curiosity. That’s not to say that the conversation doesn’t tackle darker or intricate topics but the …

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Emma Lee Reviews Bind by Christine Murray SB

Bind Christine Murray Turas Press https://turaspress.ie/shop/bind-by-christine-murray/ ISBN: 978-0-9957916-4-0, 72pp, €12 Christine Murray uses minimal, impressionistic language to convey images from the natural world.  bind is split into sections,  bind ,  a hierarchy of halls ,  babel,  wintering and Dawn, the name of the last section rocks convention by having an initial capital. The lack of capitals signals to the reader …

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Dick Edelstein reviews: Fealty by Ricky Ray 

Fealty by Ricky Ray. Hardcover £16.99, 146 pp. Eyewear Publishing, 8 June 2018. ISBN: 978-1912477227 While many new writers have seized on expanding opportunities for publishing poetry collections, New York poet Ricky Ray, still in his thirties, has been biding his time, waiting nearly two decades to publish Fealty. His debut collection reveals an evolved writing …

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The Last Time We Saw Strangers, by Christopher Hopkins – reviewed by Shirley Bell

  The Last Time We Saw Strangers, by Christopher Hopkins Clare Songbirds Publishing House Chapbook Series Clare Songbirds Publishing House  Chapbook Series140 Cottage Street, Auburn, New York, 13021   www.ClareSongbirdspub.com ISBN 978-1-947653-24-5     In the new year in Issue 20, I was pleased to review a chapbook from Christopher Hopkins, ‘Take Your Journeys Home’. He is …

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Regular reviewer Jane Simmons, looks at Kate Miller’s: The Observances

Kate Miller: The Observances Carcanet ISBN 978 1 90618 815 3 Kate Miller grew up in Hampshire and now lives in London. She was awarded the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize in 2008 and has received several other awards. Selected for Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt) and in 2013 and in the 2015 anthology, the Forward Book of …

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Jacqueline Saphra: All My Mad Mothers – a review by Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a retired teacher/lecturer who is now studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. She has written several short stories and is currently working on her second novel and a collection of poetry. She is a member of the Lincoln-based Pimento poets and Outspoken Poets and regularly reads/performs …

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Found Poetry – an altered book by Eddy Chandler – introduced by Shirley Bell

  Way back in Issue 4, 3rd July 2017,  I wrote about found poetry, and what a useful tool it could be for overcoming writer’s block.   I relax by painting and I am also very fond of art journalling and making altered books, so I can often be found in what was son number one’s room wearing …

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Helen Dunmore’s Costa Book of the Year, Inside the Wave: a review by Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a retired teacher/lecturer who is now studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. She has written several short stories and is currently working on her second novel and a collection of poetry. She is a member of the Lincoln-based Pimento poets and Outspoken Poets and regularly reads/performs …

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Take Your Journeys Home by Christopher Hopkins, reviewed by Shirley Bell

  Take Your Journeys Home , by Christopher Hopkins. Clare Songbirds Publishing House  Chapbook Series 140 Cottage Street, Auburn, New York, 13021 www.ClareSongbirdspub.com ISBN 978-1-947653-12-2 USA, November  2017             Christopher Hopkins grew up on a council estate in Neath, South Wales during the 1970s. This fractured landscape of machines and mountains and …

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Jane Simmons reviews- Karen McCarthy Woolf: An Aviary of Small Birds

Jane Simmons is a retired teacher/lecturer who is now studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. She has written several short stories and is currently working on her second novel and a collection of poetry. She is a member of the Lincoln-based Pimento poets and Outspoken Poets and regularly reads/performs …

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Review of The Red Lion, Live Theatre, 8th April 2017 currently at the Trafalgar Studios, London until 2nd December 2017 by Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon

  Ceinwen has worked as a Probation Officer, a Mental Health Social Worker and Practice Educator. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been published on web magazines and in print anthologies. These include Fiction on the Web, Literally Stories, Alliterati, Stepaway, Poets Speak (whilst they still can) Three Drops …

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Book Review, From Doll House Windows by Lorraine Carey

From Doll House Windows, Revival Press, Limerick, Ireland, 2017, ISBN  978-0-9957333-5-0. £10/$15/€12   From Doll House Windows is Lorraine Carey’s first collection. Lorraine’s poetry appeared in Issue 10 and I was very pleased to have the chance to read more of her work in this book. I enjoyed this collection very much. Lorraine Carey has a …

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Shirley Bell Reviews – On Balance by Sinéad Morrissey

On Balance by Sinéad Morrissey   Paperback, ISBN: 978 1 784103 60 6 Carcanet Poetry May 2017 This is the Poetry Book Society choice for Summer 2017 and Sinéad Morrissey writes in the Summer Bulletin that “Gravity started it, or rather things which defy its force: acrobats, carrier pigeons, aeroplanes. Earth defying structures, constructed out …

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