Tag: poetry

A review of Vanishing Point by Jeri Kroll

Kroll_VanishingPointFront COVER copy At no point does the book lose its dramatic momentum. In fact, so compelling is the plot at times that it takes some effort to slow down and read the poems fully as poetry should be read, rather than racing on to see what happens. Vanishing Point is quick and easy to read, but the poems repay second and third readings where the complexity of the work begin to unfold. Diana’s self-awareness grows viscerally and sensually as she comes to accept the sensations of her adult body through the final section.

A review of The Sea Replied: Poems by Damien Firth

Screen-shot-2014-09-23-at-1.20.23-PMAnother writer expressed “deepest gratitude” to Firth “for having left the legacy of his poetry as a comfort and a guide.” Although not wealthy in the world’s terms, Damien Firth had a rich inner life, imagination and vocabulary, and was also rich in friends, who performed this labour of love and made his poetry available to the public.

A review of The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight and Terrence Tasker

Slaight’s poetry works perfectly with Terrence Tasker’s dark charcoal images. The pictures convey angry masks, faces, slightly abstract, timeless. The book was originally produced in the 1970s, and has been dedicated to Tasker, who passed away in 1992. The book itself is an exquisite artefact – something to keep and re-read. Though the poetry isn’t pleasant, it’s powerful, evocative and uncovers a universal vein of anguish that will resonate with all readers.

A review of Faber & Faber Poetry Diary 2015

The book is a nice, pocket-book friendly hardcover, with thick, high quality pages, and an elastic to mark the week. The book has a week to a view, with enough room to record (in small writing) activities and appointments for each day (though not enough to write a poem, should you be sufficiently inspired – you’ll need another notebook for that). Each week there is a new poem, starting with Simon Armitage’s “Poetry”, and finishing with Stevie Smith’s “Not Waving Drowning”. The diary also features full colour images of book covers and a Faber poetry chronology.

A review of Autoethnographic by Michael Brennan

Autoethnographic is a difficult read. Though the poems are deceptively prosaic, they don’t yield their messages easily, and are unsettlingly dark, disjointed, and at times, so self-referential that they feel like a chaotic nightmare. But once you let go of the desire for linearity and meaning and instead open up to the linguistic subtleties, to new modes of perception, and to the revelations which are decidedly non-linear, the work becomes quite special.

A review of Radiance by Andy Kissane

Though the poems in Radiance are powerful and hard-hitting – making the familiar new, and challenging the reader’s perspective, the entire collection is suffused with warmth that continues to charm, even when we’re reading about horror. These are poems that, regardless of theme, remain unabashedly positive, at times, extremely funny, and inviting, even as they’re undermining our prejudices.

A review of The Fateful Apple by Venus Thrash

Venus Thrash open The Fateful Apple deep in the heart of the Garden of Eden and moves toward Tutankhamen’s tomb, continues on to Atlanta, before mentioning The Tree of Life, The Tree of Knowledge and womankind bearing the brunt of Eve’s disobedience. The reader is left breathless, but driven to turn the page and check the words coming next.

A review of Split by Cathy Linh Che

Split by Cathy Linh Che is an honest piece of literature. There is no need for Che to prove her talent as a poet. The poems in Split do this and more. Che uses the pen as a mirror. What she sees—including significant events that impact her personal and familial life—she puts on paper in ways that approach mastery of the art of poetry.

A review of The End of the World by Maria Takolander

As the title implies, Maria Takolander’s The End of the World makes no pretence at sweetness or ease. While there is certainly a tenderness in the poems of childbirth and domesticity that open the collection, but despite the maternal softness that draws the reader in from the start of many of these poems, the collection has an underlying ferocity which takes the reader below the superficial, into the heart of meaning as revealed by the intensity of each moment it encounters.

The Heroism of Pakistani Poetry

The seventy or so poems in this volume appear to have found their best translators in English. The translators and the editor are well-respected scholars and translators, who worked from the original texts; at least three of them are also poets in their own right. It is noteworthy that all four are based in different continents (viz., Asia, North America, and Europe) and have together put their expertise to a most fruitful use, with excellent results.