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, 17 May 2017

"The North (No.57, 2017)", Ann Sansom and Peter Sansom (eds)

190 pages, 22cm by 21cm, small print. 173 poems by 84 poets (Graham Mort, David Constantine, Susan Wicks, Peter Riley, etc). Lots to read.

There are articles about Shirley McClure, John Riley, poetry for children, Jack Spicer, favourite books chosen by 30 smith|doorstep poets, etc. The standard features are "Poets I Go Back To", "Blind Criticism", "Close Reading", "In Conversation" (Susan Wicks with Jackie Wills this time) and "Featured Title" (a Peter Riley book this time). Of the 14 reviewers, 6 have had pamphlets/books published by smith|doorstep. I noted a few things -

  • "In a way I feel that having kids is almost an equivalent of going to war, historically, for men, the way women have put their bodies at risk, their identities at risk, allowing their lives to change suddenly" - Susan Wicks (p.146)
  • "The bedside lamp's afterglow is all at once 'an aspirin ... dissolving in a glass of darkness' and I put the lamp back on, reach for Transtromer" - Mark Pajak, (p.97)
  • "If books are the flagships of the literary world, then pamphlets are our kayaks and coracles - sleek and nimble, they can navigate more easily the 'music of what happens', and part the waters for larger vessels that sail in their wake" - Theophilus Kwek, (p.178)
  • "A wheelie bin crosses the road without looking,/ lands flat on its face on the other side, spilling/ its knowledge" ('The Met Office Advises Caution', Rebecca Watts)
  • David Tait writes of Jennifer Copley's "The Living Daylights" - "I'm still amazed that pamphlet didn't win some big prizes"

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