REVIEW: ELIZABETH MCGEOWN’S ‘COCKROACH’

REVIEW: ELIZABETH MCGEOWN’S ‘COCKROACH’

By Stella Backhouse | “…this is a book about turning negatives into positives. It’s about embracing outsiderhood. If McGeown ever wanted to re-name it, ‘Turn and Face the Strange’ might well make the shortlist.”

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INTERVIEW: FIRE&DUST  MEETS JOE COOK

INTERVIEW: FIRE&DUST  MEETS JOE COOK

Joe Cook is a musician, lyricist, music producer and spoken word artist from Birmingham (UK). Joe was our first headliner of 2023 at our Fire & Dust poetry night on 5th January. His entertaining set was well-received by the audience and we caught up with him after the event, to ask a few questions…

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REVIEW: JULIAN BISHOP’S ‘WE SAW IT ALL HAPPEN’

REVIEW: JULIAN BISHOP’S ‘WE SAW IT ALL HAPPEN’

By Stella Backhouse | “Say out loud the title of Julian Bishop’s new collection ‘We Saw It All Happen’ and a ghostly question hangs in the after-silence. We saw it all happen….but what did we do? A former BBC environmental reporter, Bishop says in his introduction that his aim is […]”

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REVIEW: LEWIS BUXTON’S ‘BOY IN VARIOUS POSES’

REVIEW: LEWIS BUXTON’S ‘BOY IN VARIOUS POSES’

By Stella Backhouse | ” It’s as if Buxton is taking the reader beyond high walls made of bricks marked ‘boy’ to show them the private gardens they enclose. In fact, many of these poems (both left- and right-hand) read as if they began life in the privacy of a bedroom where, alone or with a sexual partner […]”

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REVIEW: SUZANNAH V EVANS’ ‘BRIGHTWORK’

REVIEW: SUZANNAH V EVANS’ ‘BRIGHTWORK’

By Stella Backhouse | “Brightwork presents shiningly accessible poems that are deeply evocative of the unique physical and sensory landscape of Bristol’s Underfall boatyard. Following the example of Ponge, Evans portrays the boatyard mostly through forensic focus on artefacts found within it. […]”

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REVIEW: CATHY GALVIN’S ‘WALKING THE COVENTRY RING ROAD’

REVIEW: CATHY GALVIN’S ‘WALKING THE COVENTRY RING ROAD’

By Stella Backhouse | […] like minimalism itself, ‘Walking the Coventry Ring Road’ is more than the sum of its parts. Part memoir, part love-song to the unique landscape, carried around by each of us, that is the one imprinted from childhood, it’s about how our relationship with […]

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Eve’s Christmas Book List

Eve’s Christmas Book List

By Eve Volungeviciute | HCE sub-editor Eve figured it’s time to pick out some Christmas themed recommendations for fellow readers who wish to get into a festive mood. From anthologies to classics of various genres, there should be something to everyone’s taste. […]

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REVIEW: PETER RAYNARD’S ‘MANLAND’

REVIEW: PETER RAYNARD’S ‘MANLAND’

By Stella Backhouse | Peter Raynard deals with the touchy issue of feminist-blaming by ensuring women are largely absent from Manland, his recent collection on the theme of masculinity and its discontents. As the opening poem ‘Maelstrom’, with its strings of witty puns on ‘man’, ‘men’ and ‘male’ makes clear, this is a collection whose focus is the man-verse alone. […]

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ISSUES IN REVIEWING

ISSUES IN REVIEWING

By Stella Backhouse | “Writing reviews does raise questions – sometimes in social media discussions, sometimes in my own mind. I’m always interested to know what readers think of the reviews. Do they tell you what you want to know? Are they pitched at the right level? Are they too safe? […]”

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REVIEW: TINA SEDERHOLM’S ‘THIS IS NOT THERAPY’

REVIEW: TINA SEDERHOLM’S ‘THIS IS NOT THERAPY’

Reviewed by Stella Backhouse | While ‘This Is Not Therapy’ is a mixed collection that tempers Big Questions poetry about life, the universe and everything (I use the phrase advisedly: at least two poems are overtly inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) with smaller canvases that revel in the relief offered by everyday joys, it is also about […]

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