Reviews

Hello there

This year, to my pleasure, I've been commissioned to write reviews of poetry collections for Artemis Poetry and The Poetry School. Books reviewed include Hyem by Robyn Bolam, Mama Amazonica by Pascale Petit and Bondo by Menna Elfyn.

I also reviewed The Emma Press Anthology of the Sea for the Poetry School  and Emerald by Ruth Padel - which was published earlier this month.

You can read it here - https://poetryschool.com/reviews/review-emerald-by-ruth-padel/

I've just finished Joy by Sasha Dugdale which was, aptly, a joy to read and am moving on to Imtiaz Dharker's Luck is the Hook.
I don't know if my reviewing method is a bit old-school (it involves pencil scribbles and folded down page corners) but I seem to take ages over them, partly because, as a fellow writer, I know how important a thoughtful review is.
There is a responsibility to do the poems, and therefore the poet, justice.
I think the best book reviews leave you with the feeling that you have learned something, or something disparate has been fitted together, that you may never have come to yourself. This is a lofty aim for my own 'practice' but worth bearing in mind, I think. It's also useful to look at how other writers structure their books, their use of theme and form and even how their poems appear as a whole, all of which feed into a rich mix for my own poems to grow from.

In the spirit of the first point above, I also try to take time to write Amazon reviews for books I feel should be enjoyed widely. An attentive review can make a writer's' day, or week.  It is in this vein that I was inspired to write a brief review of Michael Loveday's unusual new book, Three Men on the Edge, which is an exciting hybrid of poetry and flash-fiction, published by the impressive V Press.

"Three Men on the Edge is an agile and brave book - it blends the finest points of poetry - nuance, the unsaid, and the metaphorical with the sharpest image-making and narrative of very short fiction. The result is a tender yet never sentimental hybrid of a form that I found exciting, compelling and very readable. It is a cliche but I was sorry not to read more. There is something very fresh about Loveday's book and it deserves to reach a wide audience."

You can see details of the book here - it's highly readable, humane but also possesses moments of capacious beauty and despair in the same way a poem can open itself and its reader out of the every-
day.
http://vpresspoetry.blogspot.com/p/three-men-on-edge.html

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