Reviews
The Manchester Review

Beth Underdown at IABF, Oct 16th, – reviewed by Adam Wolstenholme

There were stories to chill the spine and warm the heart at an event to launch the new collection by local novelist Beth Underdown this week. Beth read from Love makes as many at the Anthony Burgess Foundation on Tuesday. Her collection dramatises the women featured in the exhibition Lost Voices which ran at National […]

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The Manchester Review

Carys Davies and Sarah Moss, hosted by Katy Shaw at the International Burgess Foundation, Manchester Literature Festival, October 14th, reviewed by Matthew McGrogan

The sun emerged from behind the clouds as Katy Shaw welcomed Carys Davies and Sarah Moss to the International Burgess Foundation. Both novelists have recently celebrated the release of a new book — Carys Davies with her debut novel West and Sarah Moss with her novel Ghost Wall. Katy began by mentioning the form of […]

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The Manchester Review

Terrance Hayes | American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin | reviewed by Gurnaik Johal

Terrance Hayes | American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin | Penguin, £9.99 I’ve been trying to write a review of Terrance Hayes’ American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin all summer. I read the book cover to cover in one sitting when it came out in June. Since then, I’ve dipped in […]

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The Manchester Review

Take 2: 24 Stories with Kathy Burke, MLF at the Dancehouse, reviewed by Pippin Major

24 Stories, MLF at the Dancehouse There’s a hum of lively chatter in Manchester’s Dancehouse theatre as the crowd awaits the arrival of the four stars of tonight’s event. No doubt it is the star-power of Kathy Burke that has filled most of the seats, and indeed this is a topic visited again and again […]

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The Manchester Review

Take 2: Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai at the Manchester Literature Festival, reviewed by Weng U Pun

Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai at the Manchester Literature Festival This Saturday at the Anthony Burgess Foundation I had the opportunity to hear the poems of Xi Chuan, who is currently a professor at Beijing Normal University and Jennifer Lee Tsai, a fellow of the national poetry mentoring scheme, The Complete Works III. The event […]

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The Manchester Review

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, with Gemma Cairney, Manchester Literature Festival at the Central Library, Oct 12th 2018, reviewed by Christine Walker

Review: Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, at the Central Library The Central Library, on St Peter’s Square, Manchester was set to host, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival, a night with the young and well-received authors of Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene. The […]

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The Manchester Review

Zaffar Kunial, Richard Scott & Hannah Sullivan at the IABF, Manchester Literature Festival, Oct 13th, reviewed by Suzi Clark

Faber New Poets: Zaffar Kunial, Richard Scott & Hannah Sullivan The International Anthony Burgess foundation saw a great turn out for the Faber New Poets event: a stunning book launch for the work of new voices in poetry, celebrated as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. Unfortunately, only three of the poets were able to […]

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The Manchester Review

Chinese Voices: Xi Chuan and Jennifer Lee Tsai, IABF, Manchester Literature Festival, Oct 13th 2018, reviewed by Katherine Bosworth

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation on Cambridge Street is small, yet has an undeniable element of grandeur. The walls showcase exposed brickwork, and there is a large metal pipe above, giving the space an industrial feel. The event taking place here is Chinese Voices, my first poetry event of the Manchester Literature Festival. As I […]

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The Manchester Review

24 Stories with Kathy Burke and others, MLF at the Dancehouse, reviewed by David Adamson, The Dancehouse Theatre, 10th October 2018

Review: 24 Stories with Kathy Burke and others, Manchester Literary Festival     When catastrophes such as the Grenfell Tower fire happen, in the aftermath news reports tend to describe them as ‘an unspeakable tragedy’. While that adjective is fitting in regards to the trauma of the affected and the difficulty in describing such horror, there […]

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The Manchester Review

A Celebration of Muriel Spark, with Jackie Kay and Alan Taylor, Manchester Literature Festival at Cosmo Rodewald Theatre, Centre for New Writing

The Scottish writer Jackie Kay is third modern Makar, the Scottish poet laureate, whose work is known for its humour and exuberance. Who better to celebrate that other grand dame of Scottish letters, Muriel Spark? Kay was joined on stage at the Cosmo Rodewald campus venue on Tuesday by literary journalist and Spark biographer Alan […]

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The Manchester Review

Nicolai Houm and Arno Camenisch, Manchester Literature Festival at IABF

In the redbrick engine house at the Anthony Burgess Foundation we find Norway’s ‘Most American Author’ and one of Switzerland’s most widely translated novelists. They are both mountain men: they ski, they snowboard, they go to the mountains for isolation and tranquillity, but also to procrastinate. For Nicolai Houm and Arno Camenisch, skiing is ‘the […]

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The Manchester Review

National Theatre’s Macbeth | The Lowry

Macbeth | The Lowry | October 4th, 2018 Macbeth, like many of Shakespeare’s tragedies, is known for its brutal deaths. Rufus Norris’s National Theatre production of Macbeth, which has started a UK tour this week in The Lowry, Salford, after a run in London earlier this year, gives the audience its fair share of brutal […]

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Ian Pople

Eleni Vakalo | Before Lyricism | reviewed by Ian Pople

Eleni Vakalo | Before Lyricism | Ugly Duckling Press $18.00 Eleni Vakalo’s Before Lyricism appears in Ugly Duckling Press’ ‘Lost Literature’ series. Among other authors in this series are Laura Riding, Man Ray, Duchamp and Cesar Vallejo. Vakalo, herself, was clearly a very important figure in post-war Greek culture; having studied Art History at the […]

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The Manchester Review

David Crosby | Palace Theatre | September 15th

David Crosby | Palace Theatre | Manchester | 15 September, 2018 David Crosby, former Byrd, formerly of Crosby, Stills and Nash (and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), is, possibly thanks to the fact that many of his former band mates are no longer talking to him, these days touring with his son, James Raymond, Canadian […]

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Ian Pople

Mary Leader | She Lives There Still | reviewed by Ian Pople

Mary Leader | She Lives There Still | Shearsman Books £9.95 The cover of Mary Leader’s She Lives There Still is entitled ‘Wildflowers with a View of Dun Laoghaire, Dublin’. The picture is detailed and colourful contrasting the lower half of the picture with its whites, golds and blues, in the daisies and poppies, and […]

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Ian Pople

J.H. Prynne | The Oval Window | reviewed by Ian Pople

J.H.Prynne | The Oval Window ed. N.H.Reeve & Richard Kerridge | Bloodaxe £12.00 This new edition of The Oval Window contains both Prynne’s original poem and also an annotated version of the same text. The book also contains drawing and photographs which Prynne made and took around the time of the composition of the poem. […]

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The Manchester Review

Nick Laird | Feel Free | reviewed by Gurnaik Johal

Nick Laird | Feel Free | Faber & Faber £14.99 There’s a SoundCloud recording of Nick Laird reading ‘Feel Free’ that I stream once in a while when I can’t sleep. It’s about a parent on night-feed duty, half-awake, half-dreaming. Listening to the reading, the rhythms and rhyme create a kind of lulling effect and […]

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The Manchester Review

Peter Green’s Translation of Homer’s The Odyssey | reviewed by Edmund Prestwich

Homer: The Odyssey, trans. by Peter Green | University of California Press £24.00 Historian, translator of Greek and Latin poetry and, in former lives, wartime serviceman in the Far East, journalist and historical novelist, Peter Green is the Dougherty Centennial Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. His translation of The […]

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The Manchester Review

The HandleBards’ Twelfth Night | Ordsall Hall | reviewed by Laura Ryan

The HandleBards’ Twelfth Night Ordsall Hall, Salford | July 26th Two words in particular tend to strike fear into the heart of any introverted theatre-goer: audience participation. It was hinted before the commencement of the first act of this rather raucous rendition of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that some of us would be called upon to […]

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Ian Pople

Henri Cole | Orphic Paris| reviewed by Ian Pople

Henri Cole | Orphic Paris | New York Review Books £10.99 For Henri Cole, ‘…Paris is the city of the beloved’. This not only implies that the beloved lives in Paris but also that the city holds the beloved, that the existence of the beloved is part and parcel of the existence of Paris. If […]

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The Manchester Review

Acid Mothers Temple | Bluedot Festival July 22nd | reviewed by Ronan Long

Acid Mothers Temple | Bluedot Festival | July 22nd 2018 One of the stranger acts in the shadow of the telescope this weekend was Acid Mothers Temple, a group that resolutely defies style, genre and most other standards of classification in popular music. Formed in 1995, Acid Mothers Temple are a group of experimental musicians mainly […]

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Ian Pople

Li-Young Lee | The Undressing| reviewed by Ian Pople

Li-Young Lee | The Undressing | Norton £20.00 In a recent interview, Li-young Lee commented, ‘I think poetry is the mind of God. All the great poems that I love seem to me to all have that little ingredient. You feel like you’re in the presence of the mind of God.’ Such utterances tend to […]

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Ian Pople

Love Supreme Jazz Festival | Glynde Place | Sussex

Love Supreme Jazz Festival | Glynde Place, Sussex | 30th June/1st July Love Supreme presented a range of contrasts this year. It always does but this year those contrasts seemed more marked. They were contrasts between a range of very senior artists, let’s use the word ‘legends’, contrasted with a group of much younger artists […]

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Chad Campbell

Wolf Alice | Etihad Stadium | June 19th

Wolf Alice | Etihad Stadium | June 19th Wolf Alice is hardly what you would call an opening act, but then the Foo Fighters aren’t just any band to open for. Following West Yorkshire indie darlings The Cribs, Wolf Alice played an hour-long set for the some 60,000 fans and small flock of birds that […]

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Ian Pople

Gerður Kristný, Drápa/The Slaying, reviewed by Ian Pople

Gerður Kristný Drápa, The Slaying, trans. Rory McTurk, Arc Publications: £10.99

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The Manchester Review

War Horse | The Lowry

War Horse | The Lowry | 16 – 30 June 2018 After 8 years in London’s West End and several sold out tours across the UK, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse has undoubtedly become a British phenomenon. Part of the story’s charm is that it relies on a heavy dose of nostalgia for […]

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The Manchester Review

The Drill | HOME

The Drill | HOME | 15–16 June 2018 Do you know how to save a life? Do you know how to administer CPR when all around you are losing their heads and blaming it on you? Whether a rehearsal or the real thing, The Drill serves as a reminder that it may take more than […]

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The Manchester Review

David Calcutt, The last of the light is not the last of the light, reviewed by Ken Evans

The last of the light is not the last of the light by David Calcutt, Fair Acre Press: £9.99 David Calcutt’s first full collection from small, independent press Fair Acre, is pre-occupied with rites of passage, and above all, death, and the transformative power it thrusts upon us. The book opens with a quote from […]

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Ian Pople

Michael O’Neill, Return of the Gift, reviewed by Ian Pople

Michael O’Neill Return of the Gift Arc Publications £9.99 In Sources of the Self, Charles Taylor comments that, for the Romantics, ‘The artist doesn’t imitate nature so much as he imitates the author of nature.’ Perhaps it is because Michael O’Neill has studied the Romantic poets for most of his academic career, that his own […]

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The Manchester Review

Happy Days | Royal Exchange | Samuel Beckett

Happy Days | Royal Exchange | May 25th – June 23rd We find ourselves in the Royal Exchange, in the company of Maxine Peake again, having seen her Hamlet, her Miss Julie, her Skriker, her Queens of the Coal Age. For Beckett’s Happy Days, we find her buried, at first, up to her middle, and […]

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The Manchester Review

Swan Lake / Loch na hEala | Lowry Theatre: Week 53

Week 53 | The Lowry | Swan Lake / Loch na hEala | Michael Keegan-Dolan & Teac Damsa Swan Lake / Loch na ehEala won the Irish Times Theatre Award in 2017, and came to the Lowry as part of the 12-day Week 53 ‘Festival for the Curious’. Michael Keegan-Dolan is considered a leader in […]

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The Manchester Review

City Calm Down | The Deaf Institute

City Calm Down | The Deaf Institute | May 23rd The Deaf Institute has views. There’s a long bar for leaning, a raised, glass-enclosed platform for those who like to watch from the side like Salieri in Amadeus, a standard pit in front of the raised stage, and a stair-step bleacher gallery where you can […]

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Chad Campbell

Too Many Zooz | Gorilla

Too Many Zooz | Gorilla | May 16th The Wiki-quote that Too Many Zooz are ‘well known for Pellegrino’s characteristic dance moves’ really doesn’t cover licking the full length of a black diamond-encrusted baritone sax. But it does point to how it is hard to tell your friend why they’ve got to come with you […]

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The Manchester Review

Long Day’s Journey Into Night, reviewed by Sima Imsir Parker

Long Day’s Journey Into Night | HOME The famous first sentence from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina has perhaps been repeated too many times already, ‘”Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Nonetheless, it is almost impossible not to remember when thinking about Eugene O’Neill’s prime work, Long Day’s Journey into Night. Perhaps due to autobiographical details of […]

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Ian Pople

Three Pamphlets: Ling di Long, Finishing Lines, and The Museum of Truth, reviewed by Ian Pople

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Ling di Long, Rack Press £5; Ian Harrow, Finishing Lines, Rack Press £5; Nicholas Murray, The Museum of Truth, Melos £5 Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch has been cited as a successor to the ‘narrative’ school of British poetry; a school which perhaps reached its apogee in the writing of James Fenton and Andrew Motion in […]

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