Reviews
Ian Pople

Pablo Neruda | The Unknown Neruda | reviewed by Ian Pople

Pablo Neruda | The Unknown Neruda edited and translated by Adam Feinstein | Arc Publications: £11.99.   Described by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who might be considered just a little parti pris, as ‘the greatest poet of the twentieth century in any language’, Pablo Neruda has had a multitude of translators. Such a great poet will always […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Miklόs Radnόti | Camp Notebook trans. Francis R. Jones | reviewed by Ian Pople

Miklόs Radnόti | Camp Notebook trans. Francis R. Jones | Arc Publications: £9.99   In 1944, the Hungarian poet Miklόs Radnóti was shot while being force-marched from the copper mine in Bor in Serbia towards Germany. His body, exhumed from a ditch after the war, was identified from the notebook in his pocket. That notebook is […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Thomas Travisano | Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop | reviewed by Ian Pople

Thomas Travisano | Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop | Viking: £18.99 That Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry had autobiographical roots, even as it eschewed the ‘confessional’, was acknowledged in the reception of her work from the beginning. Randall Jarrell, ‘the most severe and exacting poetry critic in midcentury America’ reviewed Bishop’s first book, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Carl Phillips | Star Map with Action Figures | reviewed by Ian Pople

  Carl Phillips | Star Map with Action Figures | Sibling Rivalry Press, $12.00; Pale Colours in a Tall Field, FSG, $23.00 At a recent reading, Carl Phillips suggested that Star Map with Action Figures was like an EP; a selection of poems that wouldn’t really fit on an LP length book such as Pale Colours in […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Nathanial Farrell | Lost Horizon | reviewed by Ian Pople

Nathaniel Farrell Lost Horizon Ugly Duckling Presse $17 In her recent book, Prose Poetry and the City, Donna Stonecipher quotes Baudelaire on the prose poem, commenting that ‘out of my explorations of huge cities, out of the medley of their innumerable interrelations, that this haunting ideal was born.’ This ‘haunting ideal’ of Baudelaire’s was of […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

8 Pamphlets from Rack and Melos Presses reviewed by Ian Pople

Michèle Roberts, Swimming Through A Painting By Bonnard, Róisín Tierney, Mock-Orange, Kate Quigley, If You Love Something, Christopher Reid, Not Funny Any More, A.C.Bevan, Field Trips In The Anthropocene Rack Press, £5.00, Michèle Roberts, Fifteen Beads, Andrew McCulloch, The Lincolnshire Rising, The Melos Press, £5.00, Nicholas Murray, The Yellow Wheelbarrow, The Melos Press, £10.00 As […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Jan Prikryl | No Matter | reviewed by Ian Pople

Jana Prikryl | No Matter | Tim Duggan Books: $15.00   There’s often a bouncy joie de vivre, sometimes a swagger about much of Jana Prikryl’s poetry. It seems to tilt on that fulcrum between observation and perception, which is a kind of muted introspection. We are often in the presence of someone who feels on the […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Michael Heller Telescope: Selected Poems NYRB Poets £12.99, reviewed by Ian Pople

Michael Heller Telescope: Selected Poems NYRB Poets £12.99 Although Michael Heller’s work tends to be associated with the Objectivism of Reznikoff and Oppen, that is not the first thing that strikes a reader coming to this nearly 300-page Selected.  Not only is this an ample selection from Heller’s career, but it shows a wide sweep […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Paul Valéry, Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody (tr.)¦The Idea of Perfection The Poetry and Prose of Paul Valéry: a Bilingual Edition¦(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)¦ reviewed by Edmund Prestwich

Paul Valéry, Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody (translator)¦The Idea of Perfection The Poetry and Prose of Paul Valéry: a Bilingual Edition¦Farrar, Straus and Giroux hardback $54.50¦ reviewed by Edmund Prestwich Paul Valéry occupies an ambiguous position in modern literary culture. In later life – after he’d stopped writing poetry – he bestrode the French cultural scene like a […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

John Gurney | Meister Eckhart and the Predicate of Light | reviewed by Ian Pople

John Gurney | Meister Eckhart and the Predicate of Light | Poetry Salzburg: £6.00 John Gurney was one of those writers, present in any culture, who become rather niche figures, rack up a small, focused succés d’estime, and then quietly disappear. So it’s greatly to the credit of Poetry Salzburg who’ve published much else of […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

The Book of Tehran | edited by Fereshteh Ahmadi | reviewed by Kathryn Tann

The Book of Tehran | Comma Press: £9.00 Comma Press’ ‘Reading the City’ title series is rapidly filling up with quality collections, each more intriguing than the last. As they venture abroad to cities so often overlooked as creative hotbeds, these collections are not only an impressive logistical feat, nor merely an exercise in the […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

David Cooke | Staring at a Hoopoe | reviewed by Ken Evans

David Cooke | Staring at a Hoopoe | Dempsey & Windle Publishing: £10 It’s a confident poetry practitioner who opens a collection with a villanelle. The challenging form divides opinion in contemporary poetry, of course, with some saying the last word was had long ago by Thomas and Bishop (with perhaps, an almost grudging acceptance […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Natalie Scenters-Zapico | Lima::Limόn | reviewed by Ian Pople

Natalie Scenters-Zapico | Lima::Limόn | Copper Canyon Press: $16.00

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Dunya Mikhail | In Her Feminine Sign | reviewed by Ian Pople

Dunya Mikhail | In Her Feminine Sign | Carcanet: £10.99 The word ‘luminous’ is used on the back cover blurb to Dunya Mikhail’s new collection, In Her Feminine Sign. And ‘luminous’ seems apposite; there is a clarity and directness to the poems here which does seem luminous. There is also the sense that the poems […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Manchester International Film Festival (MANIFF) – Days 6, 7 & 8 | reviewed by Peter Wild

Manchester International Film Festival (MANIFF) – Days 6, 7 & 8 In the last of our short series of reviews from this year’s Manchester International Film Festival, we skip merrily from Japan to China, then head on to France and Brazil, before finally ending up in New Orleans. We begin with a late night showing […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Manchester International Film Festival – Days 3, 4, & 5 | reviewed by Peter Wild

Manchester International Film Festival (MANIFF) – Days 3, 4 & 5 In the second of a short series of reviews from this year’s Manchester International Film Festival, we hopscotch our way through Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Roy’s World, a documentary about the author Barry Gifford, a pair of directorial debuts separated by a couple of decades: […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Manchester International Film Festival – Day 1 & 2 | reviewed by Peter Wild

Manchester International Film Festival – Day 1 & 2 In the first of a short series of reviews from this year’s Manchester International Film Festival, we cover days 1 and 2 of the festival… The festival opens with an opening night gala premiere for Traumfabrik, a romantic drama set in Berlin in 1961 (and France […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Tony Hoagland | Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God | reviewed by Ian Pople

Tony Hoagland | Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God | Bloodaxe Books: £9.95 Tony Hoagland once commented that he would position his writing between that of Sharon Olds and Frank O’Hara, between the confessional and the social. For a poet, who’s most lauded book was called What Narcissism Means to Me, that yoking doesn’t […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

David Baker | Swift: New and Selected Poems | reviewed by Ian Pople

David Baker | Swift: New and Selected Poems | Norton $26.95 David Baker’s first Selected Poems, Treatise on Touch, was published by Arc in the UK in 2007. Treatise on Touch introduced the British poetry public to that rarer American poet, the formalist. If there is an obvious lineage into which David Baker fits, it […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Devin Johnston | Mosses and Lichens | reviewed by Ian Pople

Devin Johnston | Mosses and Lichens | FSG: $23.00 Over six volumes, Devin Johnston has built up a quiet body of poetry which contains astonishing power. If Johnston has concentrated his careful gaze on the natural world, that has never been to the exclusion of the human presence in that world. Nor has his writing […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

The Next Wave and The Suicide’s Son | reviewed by Ian Pople

The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry | edited by Jim Johnstone | Palimpsest Press: £13.99 The Suicide’s Son | James Arthur | Signal Editions: £10.00 In the introduction to their 2010 anthology, Modern Canadian Poets (Carcanet), the editors, Evan Jones and Todd Swift give a fairly exhaustive list of anthologies of […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Morgan Parker | Magical Negro | reviewed by Ian Pople

Morgan Parker | Magical Negro | Corsair: £10.99 Danez Smith is quoted on the front of Morgan Parker’s new collection as declaring that Parker as ‘on of this generation’s finest minds.’ One reason for concentrating on Parker’s intellect might be that Parker’s writing, for all its often unconstrained, emotional vehemence, is actually a study in […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Brenda Shaughnessy | The Octopus Museum | reviewed by Ian Pople

Brenda Shaughnessy | The Octopus Museum | Alfred A. Knopf: $25.00 Brenda Shaughnessy’s basic style is to have long prose poem lines composed of short, declarative sentences. The effect of this is both to sustain argument while delivering snap and weight. At the same time, there is sometimes a slightly curt, slightly overly driven feel […]

Read More 0 Comments
Livi Michael

Julian Daizan Skinner, Laszlo Mihaly, Kazuaki Okazaki | Rough Waking | reviewed by Livi Michael

Julian Daizan Skinner, Laszlo Mihaly, Kazuaki Okazaki | Rough Waking | Zenways Press: £12.99 Rough Waking combines visual imagery and poetry in an exploration of the apparently paradoxical themes of homelessness and confinement; or confinement-in-homelessness and homelessness-in-confinement. The book is divided into three sections, and the contributors are Laszlo Mihaly, a photographer who spent many […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Dario Jaramillo | Impossible Loves | reviewed by David Cooke

Dario Jaramillo | Impossible Loves | Carcanet: £12.99 Impossible Loves by Dario Jaramillo is a bilingual selection from the work of Colombia’s greatest living poet translated into English by Stephen Gwyn, who has also written a helpful afterword. It’s the first time that Jaramillo’s poems have been made available to an English-speaking audience, an opportunity […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Ken Evans reviews new work by Emma Simon, Alice Allen, Marie Naughton and Martin Zarrop

The much-missed Les Murray, writing about David Morley, highlighted his capacity to achieve a ‘refraction of the familiar.’  Emma Simon’s Smith/Doorstop pamphlet competition winner The Odds (2019) shares this ability to imbue the everyday with a shining radiance.  Mundane details are given a twist of the Gothic as in a pub’s Hades-like cellar (‘The World’s […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Amanda Berenguer | Materia Prima | reviewed by Ian Pople

Amanda Berenguer | Materia Prima: Selected Poems of Amanda Berenguer | Ugly Duckling Press: $22 Materia Prima is the first extended single publication of Amanda Berenguer’s poetry in English. Berenguer was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1921, and spent much of the rest of her life there; although she did have extended visits to the […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Emergence | dir. by Joss Arnott | reviewed by Imogen Durant

Emergence | dir. by Joss Arnott | University of Salford Emergence is an intense and varied trio of performances which showcases some outstanding dance. Devised by Joss Arnott in collaboration with dancers from the University of Salford’s MA Dance Performance and Professional Practices Programme, this memorable production raises urgent political and social questions. The first […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Michael Schmidt | Gilgamesh, the Life of a Poem | reviewed by David Cooke

Michael Schmidt | Gilgamesh, the Life of a Poem | Princeton University Press: £22.00 The long poem known as Gilgamesh or the Epic of Gilgamesh is the most ancient literary text we have and the earliest surviving work of literature that has the power to move and inspire us. It predates the Iliad and the oldest […]

Read More 0 Comments
Ian Pople

Carolyn Forché | The Country Between Us | reviewed by Ian Pople

Carolyn Forché | The Country Between Us | Bloodaxe: £9.95 Forché’s The Country Between Us is a reissue of a book which was originally published by Jonathan Cape shortly after its original publication in the US. It is a book of poems that documents Forché’s time in El Salvador as it was turning to civil […]

Read More 0 Comments
Sam Webb

Ben Lerner | The Topeka School | reviewed by Sam Webb

Ben Lerner | The Topeka School | Granta Books: £12.99 A dozen-or-so pages into Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School, the narrator Adam Gordon demonstrates the professional debating technique known as ‘the spread’. A competitor proposes as many arguments as possible within their allotted time. The speech is quick and aggressive, ratcheting ‘to nearly unintelligible speed, […]

Read More 0 Comments
Alicia J. Rouverol

Olga Zilberbourg | Like Water and Other Stories | reviewed by Alicia J Rouverol

Olga Zilberbourg | Like Water and Other Stories | WTAW Press: $16.95 In an era of ‘short shorts’ hailed in by the venerable Lydia Davis—and culminating in ‘the fragmentary’ in the recent Nobel Prize-winning work of Olga Tokarczuk—one wonders if there remains space for a new collection of shorts: stories that up-end expectation and offer […]

Read More 0 Comments
Chad Campbell

Calexico and Iron & Wine | Bridgewater Hall | Manchester

Calexico and Iron & Wine w/ Lisa O’Neill | Bridgewater Hall | Manchester This Wednesday night Calexico and Iron & Wine performed to a near sold-out crowd at Manchester’s Bridgewater hall in support of their new collaboration, Years to Burn. The joined bands had been nominated that morning for Grammy’s in Best American Roots Performance […]

Read More 0 Comments
The Manchester Review

Richard Clegg makes the case for Neil Campbell

Give Him A Reading: a review of Lanyards by Neil Campbell and a reading at Waterstones, Deansgate by the author, chaired by Nick Royle, on November 7th, 2019   When the team meets up to plan the Manchester Literature Festival, Neil Campbell deserves a place on any events list. He is one of the few […]

Read More 0 Comments
Livi Michael

David Constantine | The Dressing-Up Box | reviewed by Livi Michael

David Constantine | The Dressing-Up Box | Comma Press: £14.99 In ‘Siding with the Weeds’, the third short story of David Constantine’s new collection The Dressing-Up Room, the protagonist, Joe, goes to visit his old friend Bert. Details of place are meticulously realised; Bert lives on a cul-de-sac on an estate of ‘Sunshine Houses, all […]

Read More 0 Comments