The Shearsman Review

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Marcus Slease

Marcus Slease reviews Bobby Parker

Authenticity is a loaded word. What does it mean? Being sincere? We live in a world of intense self-branding and marketing and maybe a lot of us crave authenticity more than ever. It seems like authenticity is something always in process. Maybe you know authenticity when you feel it/hear it/experience it? For me, Bobby Parker’s collection of poems, Blue Movie, makes us feel authenticity beautifully. I feel it (a raw and brutal reality with starling imagination) because the speakers in the poems are open to various states of reality and emotions. Like a lot of great art, suffering is altered through the power of the imagination. There is a careful attention to both craft and rawness. A seemingly effortless effort. Of course, it often takes a lot of skill and artfulness to render complex ideas and emotions in accessible language and to make it seem effortless. Parker does this exceptionally well. It is one of many things I love about his poetry. 

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Date: 26 November 2015

Chrissy Williams, Flying into the Bear and Epigraphs

Chrissy Williams is opening a new space for British experimental poetry. A space that uses the neo-avantgarde strategies of some first and second generation NY School poetry, with its generosity towards the reader via a light touch and warm experimentalism. The poems in both Flying Into The Bear and Epigraphs acknowledge, like T.S. Elliot’s 'The Waste Land', the fragmentary nature of our contemporary existence but they also provide a means to construct a whole from both received wisdom and lived experience.

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Date: 6 August 2014

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