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.

Wednesday, 8 January 2003

"The Forward book of poetry 2003" (Forward Publishing, 2002)

1 poems. My quick check counted 5 poems in a form, 26 free-forms, 25 "box" poems without rhyme and 5 "box" poems which used some rhyme (by "box" poems I mean poems where each stanza has the same number of lines and each line is roughly the same length). The judges (Donaghy, O'Brien, Greenlaw, Peter Stothard, and Rosie Millard) have done ok. Given the restraint that the judges were "solidly mainstream" according to their chairman it's little surprise that I found some of the poems ('Dead Cat Poem', 'Shibboleth', 'The Bog-Deal Board', 'Zaatar') bland and very few baffling (Oswald's was one). I liked the poems by Burnside and Carol Ann Duffy though both were over-long. Armitage's piece was at least as long and not so good. Several of the poems were 'one idea' pieces ('The Coffin-Makers', 'Cooking with Blood', 'Undressing') - well-enough executed but such ideas aren't so hard to trawl for. Nice to see that Helena Nelson has become a regular.

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