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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Unusual Suspects, 2 Sep 2010
This review is from: Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (New British & Irish Poets) (Paperback)
I am not the ideal person to review this anthology since I am temperamentally unsuited to contemporary anthologies. They inevitably highlight both the second rate and the brilliant and it is difficult to hack through the thickets of verse to reach either. This does not have the immediate impact that Bloodaxe's previous anthology, 'The New Poetry' did for me but the editor has given space to every kind of contemporary mode of poetry and I would suggest in future years it will be regarded as a landmark volume, highlighting some of the best new poets. The casual reader though, will still find much to delight and be intrigued by and will also have to plough through some grotesque experimental poetry and some that has not yet found its feet. It is a book that someone with a real enthusiasm and interest in contemporary poetry will want to read from cover to cover since it is detailed and informative but for some of the rest of us, we might be better browsing the pages rather than diving in head first.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic selection of new talent, 2 Jun 2010
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Mr. J. R. Evison (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (New British & Irish Poets) (Paperback)
It will be unsurprising to those familiar with Roddy Lumsden and his work as a poet-teacher within the UK poetry scene that he should oversee and execute this anthology of emerging voices. And on this evidence, he is the rightful heir to Michael Donaghy.

This truly is an assured and measured selection of the brightest lights in the British poetry scene. Each voice within its pages enchants and pleads to be noticed, above and beyond the poetics of the twentieth-century American schools that many have been clearly influenced by - and now surpassed in a variety of ways.

There are poets like Luke Kennard and Annie Freud with their surrealist and absurdist sketches, Chris McCabe and his formal experimentation, John Stammers' cosmopolitan Frank O'Hara-isms, Simon Barraclough's jazzy coolness and Colette Bryce's journeys through the possibility of language.

But this is just scratching the more famous surface of what is to be found within this treasure trove of young talent. There are many poets in these pages I have never heard of - mainly because they are yet to even publish their first collections at the time of writing - and their poems are as exciting, if not more so, than the few established figures which grace the anthology.

This lends weight to the idea of this anthology being similar, and having a similar impact, to an older Bloodaxe anthology, `The New Poetry' from the early Nineties, which now reads like a who's who of the established poetic order in the UK.

In what some - at least in Britain - are defining as a `post-division era' for poetry - where, to paraphrase Louis MacNeice, the poetry world is `incorrigibly plural' - it is anthologies like this, which accept and celebrate the incredible diversity of contemporary poetry, which should be studied, rather than the more famous and less eclectic establishment products that also come out of Bloodaxe's prodigious output of texts.

Highly recommended - especially for those `getting to grips' with the riotous voices assembled across this small island.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (New British & Irish Poets) (Paperback)
Good value book. Arrived promptly.
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