Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Friday, 6 July 2001

"The Forward book of poetry 2001" ( (Forward Publishing, 2000))

Of course, the manuscripts were anything but anonymous. I'm sure even middling mags could have produced something better than the offerings by Heath-Stubbs and Scannell, but on the other hand some poets without a book to their name are represented, and I think it's a readable collection, representative of UK mainstream poetry. Dunn, Brian Henry, Waterhouse, Litherland and Tessa Biddington appear to good effect. Limburg, Jenkins, Feinstein, Martin and Sweeney (can "A Smell of Fish" really be one of the collections of the year?) are less convincing. And it wouldn't be fair of me to say who wrote this stanza "I can't accept you're dead/You're still here, in my head" (it wasn't The Spice Girls).

I felt there were rather too many poems where a striking image or closing line was all that gave a poem merit. Biddington's "The Death of Descartes" has a hail of ideas. In comparison the poems of Owen Sheers are made of a good line or 2 that's been embedded in a setting whose blandness seems designed to make the good lines look better.

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