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.
Claire Crowther’s fourth collection Solar Cruise, a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Spring 2020, is a deeply moving and introspective memoir, which documents the relationship between herself, a poet, and her husband physicist. Her linguistic choices––pneumonic rhetoric, metaphors and similes––demonstrate the value of researching and making strides to combat the adverse effects of climate change. In Solar Cruise, Crowther examines the language of science closely and discovers the poetry hidden underneath.
Angela Gardner delivers a theatrical experience with this remarkable verse novel. This powerful true story lays bare one of the most important trials in Seafaring history. Told in five parts, Gardner takes us on an emotional voyage from elation to fear, horror to sorrow, injustice to fate.
Eléna Rivera’s riveting collection of long poems, Epic Series, swims out into the complexities of identity, questioning what it means to be and become, to belong simultaneously to oneself and to one’s generational tree….
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.
When a collection’s first line is ‘How did we get here?’, and that poem is called ‘When everything is water’, it’s perhaps hard for readers of a certain age not to hear an echo of Talking Heads and wonder at what is going wrong. In this time of accelerated ecological crisis the collection’s ominous title points that way too. The cover (with the poet’s beautiful photograph ‘Selkirk swimming pool in the rain’) describes how ‘we cannot imagine that the life we know is about to change in personal, political or global terms.’ …
Award-winning poet Nathan Shepherdson guides us atomically through the universe (the entirety of matter and space) where one man – Romanian-born German-language poet and translator Paul Celan – weighs the depth and demand of his relationship with poetry and familial love.
In response to an old Blues song performed by Geeshie Wiley, Peter Riley has brought together established poets of varying styles. Notwithstanding a spelling error, a misdate and some distracting formatting, Riley and his troop have created a muddy-watered pool for the reader to lounge in.
A poet dazzling enough to be commemorated with a minor planet and a ship in her honour, Marina Tsvetaeva is a crown jewel in Russian literature. Christopher Whyte’s translation of her early poems from 1913 to 1915 does an admirable job of bringing her legacy into the twenty-first century.
Harriet Tarlo(Shearsman Books, 2019);pbk, £14.95 Don Paterson makes a deliciously subversive point, describing the ‘post-reading vivisection’ of a poem. We all use that scalpel (Paterson included), but there are times when a forensic examination of verse is especially unreliable. Faced with work made on the move, as we might encounter in work by fell runner Read More