The Critical Nib

Blue Nib reviews are curated by Emma Lee and her team. If you have any queries, or you have a review you would like to submit, or if you would like to join our review panel contact her by email at [email protected]

Browse all the reviews from Emma Lee's team

‘Anecdotal Evidence’ by Gayelene Carbis -Reviewed by Emma Lee

Gayelene Carbis uses a variety of forms, style and tone to suit each poem – from densely packed enjambment and prose poems to tightly structured sequences

‘Misericord’ by Kevin Bailey -Reviewed by Michael Paul Hogan

‘Misericord’ is a book containing many fine things, a Palace of Varieties containing within its sixty-six pages a multitude of (mainly successful) attempts to render Kevin Bailey’s poetic world complete.

‘Letters Home’ by Jennifer Wong -Reviewed by Emma Lee

“Letters Home” explores the Chinese-British diaspora from the viewpoint of someone beginning to find her place in the world, looking at how to forge an identity which includes her origins and her new life.

‘Trees’ by Sam Smith -Reviewed

Hazel is going to die. We all are, but in Hazel's case death will come sooner.

‘Wish’ by Katerina Neocleous -Reviewed

In writing poetry about childhood and adolescence, mawkishness could be a trap one falls into, but in this work, the subject is covered so well by the poet

‘Keepsake’ by Kayleigh Campbell -Reviewed

Reading the title poem first, from my perspective, ‘Keepsake’ immediately struck a paternal chord, as memories flooded back of my own first purchase for my daughter when she was born

‘Children of the Nation’ an anthology- reviewed by Emma Lee

‘Children of the Nation an Anthology of Working People’s Poetry from Contemporary Ireland’ edited...

Ngugi wa Thiong’o- Birth of a Dream Weaver, reviewed by Eugen Bacon

‘Birth of a Dream Weaver’ Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o The New Press 

Barry Fentiman Hall’s ‘Sketches by Baz’ reviewed by Melissa Todd

‘Sketches by Baz’ Barry Fentiman Hall Wordsmithery ISBN 978-1-9160183-1-0

Cheryl Ceasar’s ‘Flatman’ -Reviewed

‘Flatman’ Cheryl Caesar Thurston Howl Publications  No ISBN

‘The Scriptstuff Lockdown Anthology’ -reviewed

‘The Scriptstuff Lockdown Anthology’ Scriptstuff Entertainment  No ISBN  £9.95

‘Hide Songs’ Marc Woodward – Reviewed

I’d strongly recommend this beautifully presented book to anyone

‘Zoospeak’ Gordon Meade with Jo-Anne McArthur – Reviewed by James Fountain

Overall, the book feels as though it has been hurriedly constructed. Though its basic premise is admirable, the form utilised throughout does not demand the attention it should.

Emma Lee’s review of Rishi Dastidar’s ‘Saffron Jack’

‘Saffron Jack’  By Rishi Dastidar Nine Arches Press  ISBN...

‘Satyress’ by Audrey Molloy – reviewed

‘Satyress’ is obviously in favour of trying, of striving for a life and not losing yourself in everyday routines and definitions that rely on a relationship to another

‘Staring at a Hoopoe’ David Cooke, reviewed.

Cooke’s collection has precise starting and ending points in the first and last poems that delineate the map of his journey.

Winner of The Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 2020. ‘The Tradition’ by Jericho Brown – Reviewed

‘Jericho Brown's 'The Tradition' explores legacy, racism, queerness, trauma and where personal concerns intersect with historical legacies

‘The Flavor of The Other’ by Clara Burghelea -Reviewed by Emma Lee

Emma Lee reviews International Poetry Editor, Clara Burghelea's collection, 'The Flavor of Other'.

‘The Fell’ by Robert Jenkins – Reviewed

'The Fell' Robert Jenkins Red Door Press ISBN...

‘Pretty Time Machine’ Lorette C Luzajic -Reviewed

‘Pretty Time Machine: Ekphrastic Prose Poems’ Lorette C. Luzajic Mixed Up Media...