Ben

 
Helpful votes received on reviews: 83% (64 of 77)
Location: London, UK
 

Reviews

Top Reviewer Ranking: 319,074 - Total Helpful Votes: 64 of 77
Byssus by Jen Hadfield
Byssus by Jen Hadfield
Jen Hadfield is a poet who really cranks up language and, to my mind, makes the average poet look lazy. This is an interesting and oddly affecting collection which sees the poet detach herself in sometimes violent, sometimes delicate, ways from the array of ordinary poetic devices and phrase-making. There are still the personal poems, Shetland attitudes and observations, but the work I like most in here seems to operate at some seriously subliminal sonic/visual/cantankerous level. The 'sex-starved smile' of the writer/sun; the 'hot perturbation of Sirius'; 'a span of sea glittering with gannets, like a face-full of piercings'; 'the sea's lift-offish vacancies'; fresh images and language… Read more
The Claims Office by Dai George
The Claims Office by Dai George
This debut feels as confident and as interesting as some of the great debuts of the past - George writes like a kind of spritzily ironic censer-wafting Michael Hofmann. Poem after poem is well-judged and entertaining - I recommend drinking whisky while you read them. They're kind of halfway between tweedy and trendy, with a Welsh studenty eye on eternity. Excellent stuff. A poet lost in his own inventiveness and so much the better for it.
A Lucid Dreamer: The Life of Peter Redgrove by Dr Neil Roberts
...none were stranger than Redgrove. The spiritual and intellectual forays of his work feel labyrinthine, and Roberts's voice is, appropriately, a lucid guide to all that sea-facing dreaming. It's a cliche, but I couldn't put this down; and even if on occasion Redgrove could be a prima donna, you can only revel at his mastery of an entire corner of the poetic universe, and feel moved by the end. Check out his poem "The Big Sleep" (my personal favourite). Neil Roberts and Jonathan Cape should feel proud of this testament to him.

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