Maggie O’Farrell(Tinder Press, 2021); pbk: £8.99 As an avid William Shakespeare fan, I thought I knew most everything about his life. I have studied him inside and out for years. I have heard the earworms of his work in the background of my mind for hours on end. Yet, Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet completely changed what Read More
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.
Motherhood, birth, and parental relationships are the three key components that make up JL Williams’ collection Origin. She explores all sides of what it means to be a mother: the pain of birth, raising a child when your own parents are absent, the fear of being in charge of another person’s life and their survival. Williams takes us into the depths of her psyche in all the stages of her pregnancy. We not only see her own fears of motherhood but our shared fears over bringing up a child in today’s society.
The Coronavirus has dominated our lives over the last couple of years in more ways than one. Whether it be in the looting of toilet paper or many of us becoming experts in DIY, this pandemic has changed our lives in what looks like forever. In Pathogens Love A Patsy, Rita Ann Higgins presents the frustration and experience of these past two years, and also how far our new normal is from where it once was
From mating bees to Samuel Beckett to boats across the sea, John Duffy does not leave a corner of our earth untouched. Duffy’s latest collection A Gowpen is crammed with a myriad of imagery. The ‘gowpen’ of the title is Scots for the action of cupping your hands together. To take a gowpen of something is to allow others to share with you. From the outset, we are welcomed thus with charity and sincerity, a gesture repeated in many of the poems in this collection. There is a warmth in his admiration of the kindness that humanity can offer – perhaps a quality that is desperately needed in our current climate.
Holly Pester’s first collection Comic Timing proves to be a very thought-provoking volume and highly deserving of its shortlisting for the Forward Prize’s Best First Collection (2021). Pester creates a deeply personal yet political collection as she weaves between the two to gain a sense of self.
The grand spectacle of a sweeping external stone stair adorns the outside of the McManus galleries. Its aging sandstone watches over me as I move towards it, only to be guided to the side entrance. At first, the McManus appears as another conventional art gallery, but now something more seems to be lurking inside. Modern Read More