In poems that deftly explore humanity’s entanglement with, and reliance upon, the fossil fuel and oil economy, Rebecca Sharp has created an intelligent addition to her growing portfolio of poetry, plays and performances with her new collection Rough Currency. The addition of a supplementary soundscape by Philip Jeck made available externally through the platfrom, soundcloud, moulds Rough Currency into a hybrid form of printed words and sounds, thereby exposing the increasingly hybrid and cyborglike nature of our machine-reliant human race.
Wedding Grief is an astutely chosen title; it encapsulates the fraught, traumatic relationship between Paul Éluard and his wife, Gala Diakonova, from meeting in a TB Sanatorium during World War 1 to the eventual ménage à trois with Max Ernst, and their eventual divorce. AC Clarke’s award-winning hand works fully within this collection. Her work of three years wraps within itself inversions and extrapolations of grief and trauma, shifting between perceptions, tones, and meanings.
In her debut poetry collection, Beirut-based poet lisa luxx expertly captures the essence of violence and destruction lurking in human beings – from intimacy between individuals, to the political uprisings of masses. Amidst the chaos of revolution, luxx combines references to Arabic culture and folk legends with the examination of gender and sexual identity.
This poetry and short prose collection displays an obsession with memories: how they fade from us and what we lose when one forgets them. George Messo creates an overwhelming feeling of cold darkness in The Invention of Lars Ruth. The collection is separated into two sections, ‘The Invention of Lars Ruth’ and ‘Cuckoo Taiga’ and dispersed through the text are eerie sketches, like a scribble of a place someone is forgetting.
We always find ourselves back within poetry, both as a response to cultural phenomena and personal events (for example, weddings or funerals), Frears says. Although it is a niche form, it constantly surrounds us.
Our conversation has covered a variety of topics and his interest in life is both present and contagious. It is quite clear André is a man with a thirst for knowledge, which brings me to ask him why use poetry as your main vehicle to navigate such terrain? He answers succinctly, ‘I have an axe to grind.’ That is followed by his infectious laughter. He elaborates by referring to the Chilean poet, Nicanor Parra whom André tells me once said, ‘a poet should be a thorn in society’s side’. This resonated with him in his teens.
It is quite often said a good book can take the reader on a journey; in this collection the journey is quite literal as we are invited to flit around the globe from Abu Dhabi to Venice, from Tamil Nadu to the Catskills. Don’t be mistaken – this is not a book simply about travelling but about perspective… the type of perspective that is born out of an itinerant life….
As Professor of Ecopoetry and Poetics in Sheffield Hallum University, Harriet Tarlo’s poetry centres on linguistic, natural and political landscapes. Divided into four seasons, with twelve poems per section, Cut Flowers blends into and builds upon itself organically. The collection consists of poems of hybrid structures, which can be read horizontally or vertically, allowing for different interpretations and conceptual understandings, often indicating the juxtaposition between beautiful living things and the severed, separated, dying and the dead.
Scotland is known for ancient icons such as the Loch Ness Monster, its national animal being mythical in itself (the unicorn), and its seemingly endless array of folk tales, passed down through generations. What Rachel Plummer captures in their collection Wain is a reimagining of Scottish folklore through an LGBTQ lens. This book greets you with a watercolour explosion of a cover in which a faerie creature beckons you to turn the page and enter this enchanting collection.
Published in 2019 by The Emma Press, Wain is a reimagining of Scottish folklore with an LGBT focus. After receiving the 2016 Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, Plummer was commissioned by LGBT Youth Scotland to write what would become Wain. They describe the experience as fantastic and recall discussions they had with some of the staff there: ‘as LGBT people reading folklore and fairytales when we were younger we often identified more with the monster or the villain or this idea of considering ourselves to be in some way monstrous because of how society portrays us’