Thursday, August 22, 2013

book review: andrew taylor's make some noise: the woking poems

Andrew Taylor's collection, Make Some Noise (The Woking Poems), written during a residency at Liverpool Art and Design Trust, takes us on a journey through various urban settings. A variety of free verse formats plus enjambment and the present tense puts the language under pressure effectively. He takes the urban, the everyday, the stuff that we are expected to pass by, and gives it an immediate and a strange feel. Here, in a shopping centre:

'Security guards follow people badly, while a minimum wage
cleaner polishes a glass balcony, all day.'

(So Modern Everything Seems Pointless)

Birdsong and butterflies push through urban cracks to find new spaces, while rural landscapes appear abruptly, or in memories. A compelling read.

Make Some Noise: The Woking Poems is available from Original Plus chapbooks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

book review: tim ellis, on the verge

Welcome to the first in a series of short book reviews. We kick off with Tim Ellis's new book of poems 'On the Verge'. The innovative structure allows him to include single poems within a longer poetic narrative. Interestingly, some single poems have been inspired by the journal of a real-life unidentified and environmentally aware poet, 'Tom', now deceased, while other single poems are attributed to 'Tom' (this is all clearly and sensitively explained in the introduction to the book). These poems have been creatively woven into the longer narrative. Here, a young hitch-hiker, based on 'Tom', attempts to engage with the intolerant lorry driver who picks him up. Both characters are well observed:

'I know his sort - he's out of touch with nature,
thinks animals the same as animations'

while, in other poems, rhinos and unicorns voice their own anger towards humans. As in Tim's previous poetry collection 'Gringo on the Chickenbus' the playful tone, vibrant rhymes, and juxtaposed cultural references lead the way into serious environmental issues. This is a collaborative road trip that explores fear and loathing, giving us imaginative transformations that show us the consequences of our environmental (in)actions.

On the Verge is available as an e-book through Smashwords and Amazon. Tim's website gives details of his previous publications as well as more information about his writing and travels.

York Literature Festival HUB 2018 event, Tuesday, 20th March

I'm looking forward to my first event for absolutely ages - at the York Literature Festival HUB. Many thanks to YLF and Valley...