Bryony Littlefair’s reflective collection Escape Room displays her resolve for happiness despite suffering from systemic pressures. She captures what it means to be human under capitalism and other oppressive structures, her work shaping, entangling memories and real events in her writing.
Intricately lyrical, Dai George’s second collection Karaoke King is infused with musicality and rhythm. Through styles ranging from reggae to calypso to jingles, this deft fusion of themes and contemplations explores concerns surrounding politics and climate change, and trepidation in approaching an increasingly digitalised world….
Eric Ngalle Charles’ work covers his life and experiences as an individual with an identity that has been pushed, and stretched over and around the world. As the blurb describes, his life is one of displacement and trafficking, being taken from his home in Cameroon to Russia, before finally settling in Wales, from where he now describes his story.
There is a stark, polarising beauty in Winter nights. The cold air makes the warmth shine all the brighter. Rhiannon Hooson’s Goliat follows this style of beauty and intrigue, illuminating its subjects through visual and lyrical contrast. The collection pulls the reader into a diverse array of striking landscapes. These places are as much the focus as the people who occupy them, twisting the narratives around complex histories and unique physical features that have moulded them….
None of the poems in this, Kim Moore’s more recent collection, have formal titles. Numbers, yes, and the contents’ list identifies them by their opening words. The acknowledgements credit sources as diverse as Hélène Cixous, Thomas Hardy, Adrienne Rich and Rainer Maria Rilke, but in the opening poem, ‘We are coming’, it’s impossible not to see a baton already being passed from Sylvia Plath; soon after it’s hard to avoid shades of Carol Ann Duffy’s Red Riding Hood, or to hear Hilaire Belloc’s ‘waterfall of doom’ building its inevitable force. The tributaries are indeed wide-ranging, which seems entirely in keeping with the complex and very painful issues Moore has the bravery to explore. Rarely has it been more important to read a poetry collection in the sequence the poet has ordered; there are no lines to be skimmed.
When a poet opens a collection quoting fellow-poet Ada Limón’s question, ‘Will you tell us the stories that make/ us uncomfortable, but not complicit?’ then already a great deal is being demanded of both the reader and of the writer.
Originally from Belfast, Carolyn Jess-Cooke now is very much part of Glasgow’s vibrant literary scene; she comes to We Have to Leave the Earth with a considerable backdrop of lived, researched and written experience. Pleasingly, her website describes her as being ‘not really bothered about genre’. That’s useful as the evidence of her ability to work beyond boundaries is clear.
… single everyday moments are the focal point in Gen, and it can be argued that they are also the focal point of life. Life is, after all, nothing but a series of moments – a kiss, a bike ride, a proposal, and Gen is, at its core, a heart-warming and tongue-twisting attempt to capture these moments.
Alexandra Ford’s debut novel, What Remains at the End? is a fearless attempt to convey the atrocities suffered by Danube Swabians in 1940s Yugoslavia at the hands of Tito’s Partisan regime. Many of this German-speaking ethnic minority fled, seeking refuge as far as America; of those who stayed, tens of thousands died, either perishing in Read More
The Glass Aisle enfolds the reader with intricacies and figures of sound, exploring noise, rhythm and also silence within its pages. Addressing time, loss and childhood memories ─ told through the stories of ordinary people ─ the collection’s musicality and its preoccupation with voices make for its signature sonic tapestry. This is the tenth book of poetry from Read More
David Llewellyn’s A Simple Scale sets out to provide the reader with a profoundly humbling experience: the attainment of the understanding that all our lives are ultimately at the mercy of the tides of history and that we and our fellow men are undeniably responsible for how that history plays out. Llewellyn explores this idea Read More