The Shearsman Review

Recent posts

Categories

Reviewers

Volker Braun's Selected Poems reviewed

Reviewing Time for Dreams: Poetry from the German Democratic Republic (1978), an ‘officially sponsored’ anthology of poems for English-speaking readers in East Germany, Michael Hamburger singled out Volker Braun’s ‘Government Decree’ as one of the few poems to allude directly to all that was rotten in the GDR. A comradely pitch for greater participation in GDR decision-making, Braun laid bare the decidedly unrepresentative machinery of governance in the communist state. Elsewhere in the anthology, Hamburger lamented, one was left to ‘read between the lines’. 

Read more
Date: 17 May 2015

Science-Fiction Poetry Anthology Reviewed

Science-fiction (sf) poetry has had an inglorious past. With the exception of Edwin Morgan, to whom this present collection is dedicated, few mainstream poets have attempted the genre. At the same time, poems rarely appeared in sf magazines until Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds which, as part of its avant-garde affiliations, featured the sf experiments of poets such as George MacBeth, Peter Redgrove and D.M. Thomas. The latter, especially in ‘The Head Rape’ (1968), found a narrative style and content that complemented the fiction although, in retrospect, the poems strain for hallucinogenic effects. 

Read more
Date: 17 May 2015

David Brazil - The Ordinary

First off, what’s striking about this book in particular is its particular register, in terms both of tone and of formal practice – the two, I think, not really separable. At one point, Brazil writes, “my prosody’s from here” – here being, primarily, his home-town, Oakland, CA, whose environmental pressures and socialities are figured through a highly-developed auto-didactic acquaintance with ancient languages, and with political, economic and theological history, and through the detritus of language and material out of which the poetry’s shaped. 

Read more
Date: 4 February 2015

Tom Jenks - The Tome of Commencement

Tom Jenks' The Tome of Commencement (a Rogetification of the Book of Genesis) is a Synonymical translation of the first book of the Old Testament. Jenks is interested in Oulipian mathematical/aleatory experiments and uses current technologies to create his texts. In his previous work An Anatomy of Melancholy Jenks created an assemblage of every tweet mentioning the word "melancholy" during the calendar month of January, commonly agreed to be the most depressing month of the year. The Tome of Commencement is created using spreadsheets containing the original text and a list of synonyms…

Read more
Date: 4 February 2015

Rhys Trimble - Hexerisk

Rhys Trimble is a word terrorist.
 
And there is so much that I don’t understand in this word hospital where everything is injured and being operated on with no obvious intent to heal for the health of the thing is its constant innovation. Dollsheads rest on crabmetal legs. Tolstory. To read here is to walk into a death-like severance of language, a permanent hospitalisation: ‘my vocab did this to me”.’
Read more
Date: 4 February 2015

P. Inman - Written 1976 - 2013

*poetry stripped beyond its essentials.

Read more
Date: 4 February 2015

Allan Popa - Drone

Allan Popa is probably the Philippines’ most significant living poet, having published seven collections and teaching a new generation of writers at Ateneo de Manila University. […] Popa also writes and publishes in English, which Elmer Ordonez notes is ‘one of the legacies of the country’s colonial experience; in fact, English was used by the American occupiers to achieve cultural hegemony over a nation that had fought Spanish colonialism for close to four centuries.’

Read more
Date: 6 August 2014

Carrie Etter — Imagined Sons

Carrie Etter’s third collection, Imagined Sons, is an intimate and searing set of poems. And much like its subject, once in these poems, there’s no getting out. 

Read more
Date: 6 August 2014

MacGillivray - The Last Wolf of Scotland

Some readers coming to the debut poetry collection The Last Wolf of Scotland might have first encountered its Scottish author, MacGillivray, from situations off the page. Variously a performance artist, musician, and clan chief, as a writer she is aware of—indeed she exploits—the intimacy of words on a page, in space, encountered in solitude and silence. Her book enters into the public traditions of oral culture, lyricism, and mythography to reinvent an unfortunate 19th-century historical figure. Yet, instead of being about these traditions, it uses their methods to reinvent the man locally, personally, and really.

Read more
Date: 6 August 2014

John James - Songs In Midwinter For Franco

John James’s last three volumes have been haunted by ghosts and we are aware of the poet being ‘touched by their sacred lineage’ (‘Thoughts Beyond the Stricken City Long After René Char’). …… The third of these volumes, the one with which I am immediately concerned here, was written at La Manière in the South-West of France and it is one of the most moving sequences of poems, or songs, that I have read for as long as I can recall.
Read more
Date: 6 August 2014

You have 42 posts spanning 5 pages