Magma review

Hi there. 
I was very pleased to find my pamphlet Inklings reviewed in Magma 58. I've always enjoyed reading magma with its free-wheeling, eclectic approach  - it has a team of rotating editors and a fresh theme each issue so never becomes settled, or stodgy, or in danger of leaning towards a certain style of poetics.

Anyway, here are some selected quotes from the review, by Rob Mackenzie - and thanks to him for critically engaging with my work. I like it that it's not overweeningly positive...I should say - go forth and buy the magazine to read more, and some other interesting, pertinent reviews.

"The title poem, Inklings, begins with lovemaking, substantive enough in itself “with the mortar and pestle of our bodies, the cups and planes of hips / and thighbones working like engines”, but it becomes also a metaphor for creativity, for imagination working with small stirrings and whispers “waiting in the corners”. 
"...This is a narrative telling a slant tale about its own creation. It’s well paced, building gradually into a great surge before the closing lines quoted above, mirroring the action taking place. It enacts rather than just describes, and fuses perfectly its literal and metaphorical components.
"Her poetry is less impressive on the rare occasions when she resorts to flash fiction chopped into lines, as in The Brownies’ Day Out, or stock imagery, as in Still Life, a poem with many good lines that finishes, disappointingly, with leaves being “gilded... with long strokes of light”. Westcott is generally much better than that and shows it in Oxygen, a hymn to life, its rarely observed moments.

"I was struck by the plain-style subtlety of Afterlife, a moving vision for a future Iraq, and by the energetic vocabulary of Owls ... The final poem, We Are Listening, could be a coda to Heston Services. The poet ... concludes brilliantly:
'we are listening for an answer to our selves; why stars in the vastness sing, and nothing answers, answers nothing at all.'"


  1. Rob Mackenzie is a very good poet.
    Read 'The Point' and his recent collection.
    Good review.

  2. thank you - I have just bought his latest collection 'The Good News' and looking forward to reading it..


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