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What Clare’s Reading

What Clare’s Reading

I have a serious Amazon habit – I know it’s contentious but there you have it, can’t stop reading and it’s so easy to order from Amazon… At the moment, I’m reading Carpentaria by Alexis Wright, who’s an Australian Aborigine writer. It’s kind of magic realism writing, really absorbing, a long read, and not a particularly easy read but fascinating. I’m loving it though it’s taking me a long time to get through it – some of it is so…

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The Perils Of Optimism

The Perils Of Optimism

The Perils of Optimism by Frank McMahon This is the ninth volume of poetry from Nottingham’s ‘Bard of the Brief’, DIY poet’s founder Frank McMahon. A very prolific writer over the years (he confesses to having written over two thousand five hundred poems) his talent show no sign of waning. Written in easily digestible bite-sized chunks, the topics addressed in this collection range from Christmas in the trenches to cars with KKK number plates, from running to Heinz baked beans….

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What’s Sue Been Reading?

What’s Sue Been Reading?

WHAT’S SUE BEEN READING? A CHOOSING by LIZ LOCHHEAD POLYGON 2011 (PAPERBACK 2015 REPRINT) I came late to Liz Lochhead, finding her in an anthology earlier this year, later buying this collection with birthday book tokens. It was love at first sight. This collection is engaging and accessible, written with a purity that shines from each piece. I love the way her poetry carries me along and makes me think, sometimes smile and nod, sometimes pause and reflect but always…

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Review Of Liz Berry’s Black Country

Review Of Liz Berry’s Black Country

Review of Liz Berry’s Black Country/ Black Country is the first collection from Liz Berry, a poet from the Black Country, the industrial area west of Birmingham. Berry uses a lot of dialect and vernacular in her poems. Examples are Bostin Fittle which means great food. There is a lovely poem called Homing which is about a relative who hid or toned down her accent after elocution lessons with the striking image of her keeping her accent in a box…

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What’s Sue Been Reading

What’s Sue Been Reading

Serpents Tail 2012 (Kindle Edition) An affectionate reflection on Hegley’s early life and his French heritage. Written with all the wry wit and gentle humour we have come to expect from this poet. I particularly enjoyed the exchanges between John and his caustic French grandmother, who never sweetened the pill. This book is a gentle stroll on a sunny afternoon rather than a gallop around town. It would appeal to the younger reader and to the child in all of…

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What Is Good by John Merchant

What Is Good by John Merchant

A poem by John Merchant, featured poet at our last Maze gig. Here is ‘What Is Good’. What Is Good What is good – not misunderstood What is sound – builds up our hopes What is good – is to hear a song For sound – sound – is a natural Need – what is good – is a melody Puts us in the mood – makes us free For listening with the ear – some Problems – they disappear…

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Interview With A Poet: Clare Stewart

Interview With A Poet: Clare Stewart

Q. What inspires you to write? A. I know others have said it, but it does seem to be true. I come from a big noisy family and – you may not believe this – I was probably the quietest one, partly cos I was a bit deaf and conversation kept flying by me and I missed loads of whatever was going on. My brothers and sisters are all bright and interesting people, and they were all better at commanding…

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Interview With A Poet: Lytisha Tunbridge

Interview With A Poet: Lytisha Tunbridge

Q. What inspires you to write? A. I’ve been inspired by: the sound of summer grass crackling under barefoot tread, by injustices and personal stories, by scary statistics from the so very recent past, by my friends and family, by my cat (yes, I know!) and by odd things that just pop into my head. Oh, and love, heartache and the bits between. This past week I’ve written about house clearance, memoirs, waving at neighbours and spin. I’ve not been…

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DIY Poets At Southwell

DIY Poets At Southwell

There is a strong link between the traditions of folk music and spoken word, based as they are on the oral tradition. With this in mind, ten poets recently gathered at Southwell racecourse for The Gate To Southwell Folk Festival on the weekend of 10/11th June 2017 to spread the word. On Saturday they gave the festival public two hours of the very best in self-penned poetry. Topics ranged from dining in the dark to a life in music, from…

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DIY Poets at the Maze, May 18th 2017

DIY Poets at the Maze, May 18th 2017

A Night of Poetry, Reviewed by Jake Wildeman Jake Wildeman Reviewed by Sue Allen I’ve only performed at the Maze a couple of times, but I find I quite like it. With dimmed lights and a drink in hand (alcohol or otherwise), it’s easy to take a breath and forget the world outside of this room full of poets. There’s also something deliciously intimate about performing in a corner, a certain sweet vulnerability and openness to putting yourself there. Indeed,…

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