Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2020

Review - “The Red Book of Hergest Ward” by Rhys Trimble

Steve Spence “The Red Book of Hergest Ward” by    Rhys Trimble pub. Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. 138 Pages    £15.00 Apparently before starting Paradise Lost John Milton set out to read everything that had ever been published and was still available at the time. An impossible, insane task, even in the 17 th century but can you imagine somebody trying to attempt this now? A rhetorical question of course as information overload is as ubiquitous as air and in any case, nobody could live long enough to complete the mission. You get the feeling with Rhys Trimble though of somebody high on manic erudition/energy and this ‘magnificent tome’ is a testament to an obsession with language and with technology and with high-end visual presentation. This beautifully produced book is as much an artwork as it is a series of texts and is filled with procedures (Oulipo-based; homophonic work; computer programming and existing texts altered and plundered in a variety of

Review - "Below This Level" by Kelvin Corcoran

Steve Spence “Below this Level” by    Kelvin Corcoran, pub. Shearsman Chapbooks.    34 pages    2019 Writing about serious illness is always a tricky business and one which includes the risk of sentimentality and cliché. The three sections of this short volume: Diagnosis; Treatment;   Afterwards, deal with a cancer prognosis, up-front and personal, the process of undergoing surgery and radiography and the aftermath in a manner which is both ordinary and extraordinary. Corcoran’s mixing of the down-to-earth with a lyricism all his own, together with an analytical aspect – also distinct within his work – makes for an engaging read and there are plenty of instances of high intensity where memory mingles with the here and now to produce flashes of what I’m going to call ‘revelatory moments’, akin perhaps to Wordsworth’s ‘spots of time’. I’m aware that I’m taking a risk in conjuring up such an epiphanic projection but it seems worthwhile as I’m reminded here of Dennis Potte