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READS OF THE YEAR 2015: Becky Varley-Winter

This year I discovered Elizabeth Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept (1945 ), which is intensely rhapsodic – beyond purple – yet precisely controlled. 147 more words

Year In Review 2015

Dagestan: SJ Fowler

Dagestan is a place we go to fight for money. A place where we are paid to be filmed, and perhaps be killed.

Dagestan is an thrilling new play by poet and martial artist SJ Fowler, set in the shadowy world of global security. 32 more words

Tom Jenks

A poem from 'Sunspots' by Simon Barraclough

Violet violent as an ‘ultra’
or inviolate as a saint?

The reverbs from a viola
playing purple passages.

A Parma Violet on your tongue, 181 more words


Falling in fiction - a delightful and insightful novella: The Lost Art of Sinking by Naomi Booth

Esther’s class have a competition. Who can force themselves to faint the fastest? But long after her classmates have forgotten the craze, Esther has mastered the art and through university and her first job in London seeks the perfect moment to execute the ultimate swoon – echoing her mother’s last act. 425 more words

Book Thoughts

Ryan Van Winkle - The Good Dark

Full Disclosure: Ryan is a close friend, one of the first poets I met in Edinburgh and a ceaseless source of care and encouragement. I also did a little editing work with him on this manuscript a couple years back, and I’m in the acknowledgements. 1,517 more words


Lucy Lepchani, Ladygardens; Melissa Lee-Houghton, Beautiful Girls

Lucy Lepchani, Ladygardens, (Burning Eye Books, 2013), 69pp., £10, ISBN 978 1 90913 612 0; Melissa Lee-Houghton, Beautiful Girls, (Penned in the Margins, 2013), 76pp., £8.99, ISBN 978-1-908058-03-4… 1,425 more words


Hard words for May

In May we’ll be discussing Sarah Hesketh’s Hard Word Box published by Penned in the Margins. In 2013 poet Sarah Hesketh spent 20 weeks visiting a residential care home for people with dementia. 95 more words