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Showing posts from January, 2021

Interview - Rupert Loydell talks to Sarah Cave

The Art of Object-Oriented Ritual: an interview with Sarah Cave The Merits of Tracer Fire is a beautiful paperback book produced by Abridged and designed by Luke Thompson of Guillemot Press. (The contents are also available online: see It contains Polaroids by Dragana Jurisic, poetry by Sarah Cave, and an essay by Susanna Galbraith, which serves as an introduction and framing device for the book, considering the blurring of social and private space and the traces of our lives we leave behind. She writes well about the online world we inhabit, of how the translation of the real into the digital undermines the self, and the social context for all this. I thought I’d ask author Sarah Cave for her take on this project. Rupert Loydell: Susanna Galbraith seems to find the Polaroids here, which seem to be taken from the internet, much more exciting, shocking, and revealing than I do, as I am struck by their ordinariness. Galbraith discusses them as private moments made pub

Review - "The Saree Shop" by Shringi Kumari

Alan Baker “The Saree Shop” by Shringi Kumari, pub. Speculative Books. 86pp. £7.99 Shringi Kumari is an Indian poet currently resident in the UK. This collection is dedicated to the poet's mother, and celebrates the women of South Asia, investigates their place in a patriarchal society and addresses the relationship between different generations of women. The focus is on gender politics as well as post-colonialism and the experience of a young Indian woman in a westernised society. But the poems are in no way programmatic or formulaic. On the contrary, the writer never forgets that she is writing poetry, that is, the beauty and ambiguity of language is foregrounded, along with sense that its rhythm is a physical thing associated with speech and with the body. The poems don't provide easy answers, and a number of them are strange and unsettling. The central section of the book contains the title poem, "The Saree Shop". Where we might expect anecdotes about the colourfu

Review - "leafe o little leafe" by Ralph Hawkins

Alan Baker “leafe o little leaf” by Ralph Hawkins, pub. Oystercatcher. Ralph Hawkins has devoted his life to the art of poetry and has influenced many contemporary poets through his tenure at Essex University in the 1970s and by his subsequent poetic practice. His three collections from Shearsman Books, as well as his earlier small press output, is a hugely impressive body of work, if that phrase isn't too grandiloquent for such light and airy poetry. Yet he has a low profile in the larger poetry world. I can't imagine any reader who wouldn't be delighted by the playfulness and exuberance of the work in this short selection from Oystercatcher:        impossible to put into words        the size of his golden baubles The poetry is witty and full of humour, seeming at first glance to take nothing seriously:        Without colons no semi-colons, no arseholes        Without conducters no semi-conducters neither love of them This is from the poem "Transformations #2",

Rus Khomutoff - Visual Poem

Rus Khomutoff   Copyright © Rus Khomutoff, 2021

Joel Chace - Three pieces from 'Maths'

Joel Chace Three pieces from 'Maths'   Excerpts from Fernando Zalamea, Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics, trans. Z.L. Fraser (Falmouth/New York: Urbanomic/Sequence Press, 2012). Copyright © Sequence Press. Used by permission of the author and publisher. Copyright © Joel Chace, 2021

Sandra Tappenden - Two Poems

Sandra Tappenden   Not a proper person Opinions scare me bright lights scare me competition scares me being found out scares me assuming the mantle scares me the disappointment of others scares me not knowing stuff scares me fast cars scare me   Oh yes I get along pretty well I’ve got along so long I`m bus-pass along with my invisible tremor and slackened bladder   Driving scares me and unknown destinations scare me and people and people in waiting rooms waiting but Ey oop lass nowt a pint of crème de menthe won`t fix and who asked you O Northern nemesis?   There are mislaid things in the wings how to speak more than a greeting how to to and fro like a pro how to pass the dutchie on the lefthand side   how to use both arms how to breathe right how to be friendly with friends how not to covet thy neighbour`s dog how to partay and flip the bird how to be Zoom-less how to care about how to care   There`s something outside my window pawing and clawing There`s something outside I think it`s

Review - "When Rain Becomes Memory" by Josephine Scott

  Steve Spence "When Rain Becomes Memory" by Josephine Scott, pub. Red Squirrel Press. £10.00 These are poems fuelled by memory and by description, the latter often vivid and colourful in detail but also straightforward and at first glance seemingly ‘prosaic’, that is until you become immersed in the world of the teller – and I take these poems to be largely autobiographical – where they become intriguing, full of interesting suggestion and partial narratives where you have to do a fair bit of the work for yourself, which is, of course, how it should be. Travel is an important aspect of this collection, a recalled childhood in Australia, fleeting images of other places, warm and exotic, sensual explorations which contrast with the English climate, whether in London or in Scott’s native Northumberland. Amid the projections of landscape, which are central to her style, we have shifts between time and place, a failing relationship, a betrayal of sorts, a mixing of experience rel

Review - "Kelptown" by Carol Watts

 Ian Brinton "Kelptown" by Carol Watts, pub. Shearsman Books. 98pp, £10.95 From her position of being both destitute and homeless Jane Eyre looked over the moorlands near Morton and her eye ‘feasted on the outline of swell and sweep’. It was thinking recently about this line from Charlotte Brontë that made me realise how important a poem has been written by Carol Watts. The six stanzas of ‘Kelptown’ set out the stall for what is, to my mind, one of the most sophisticated and powerful poems to have been published for some considerable time:        Slippery condominium, finding a foothold perilous        to a resting here, each green cell an inhabiting,        each morning a remaking of us.        How do I live, tenant amongst your long fronds.        Gathering the means to remain, my glutinous        high rise swaying, extending northward. From the mid-fourteenth century a ‘tenant’ has held lands by title or by lease taking the name from the Old French tenir , to hold, and t