Long Essay: Lines of Desire

Maggie Nelson’s cerebral study of the colour blue uses science and philosophy to explore facets of loss, pain and pleasure. A friend’s paralysis caused by an accident and the end of a highly chemical sexual relationship are articulated via the colour blue. Bluets is as much a poetic manual for emotional literacy as it is …

The Crying Book by Heather Christle

Heather Christle’s The Crying Book is a conversation on crying and the biological phenomenon of shedding tears. Christle's earthing poetry maps out the places she has cried, and in doing so, makes constellations between science, philosophy and emotional intelligence with an intimacy that urges readers to cry and to do it hard. I admit to …

Book Review: A Witness of Waxwings by Alison Lock

  Alison Lock’s A Witness of Waxwings is a tantalising collection concerned with metamorphosis and reminiscence. Age, retrospection and transformation emerge time and again in these brief narratives which spool imaginatively across time and place, frequently shapeshifting in form. Selkies and ghosts spook the pages, there are fast-forwarding clocks and masked villagers, there are ancient children, houses choking …

The Cartography of Others by Catherine McNamara

Catherine McNamara’s The Cartography of Others is a collection which maps out the geographies of relationships and far-flung locations with acumen and grace. These short stories are eclectic in form with a broad range of themes but each feels elastic with movement, transporting us to contemporary London, Ghana, Hong Kong and along the jagged peaks …

Strange Fashion by Pam Thompson, Pindrop Press (2017)

Pam Thompson’s Strange Fashion sightsees history and place in this stunning cartographic collection. With Thompson as guide, poetic map-making takes readers on a tour of Leicester, Canary Wharf and far beyond and travels the distance of the Highlands to the swollen banks of the Mississippi. One of the most striking features of these poems - which have extraordinary range …