There's some really powerful stuff in Kaveh Akbar's "Calling a Wolf a Wolf" - and for once the back cover blurb hits some of the right notes: "powerful", "intimate", "agony", "torment". There's nothing bright and breezy in here! But some of the images - often just a line or two - jump out and grab … Continue reading “Calling a Wolf a Wolf”
This may sound a little weird, but recently I've come to appreciate the beauty of punctuation more than ever - especially when it comes to writing poetry. And I don't mean simply the use of standard punctuation - commas, semi-colons and the like - I also mean the absence of punctuation, the freedom to choose … Continue reading The Beauty of Punctuation
I am conscious that for a website that's supposed to be a writing showcase, I have published little new material here recently; most posts have been book reviews (of sorts). So here's another 'non-writing' post..! I just thought an update on all the creative action that's going on in the background might be of interest... … Continue reading So where’s all the writing then..?
Nearly two months ago I wrote these three lines, straight into a draft post, certain that something would come of them. I've revisited them several times since, always with the expectation that somehow they would 'take off' and lead me to a different outcome, a more comprehensive 'thing'. But nothing ever happens. Maybe they're meant … Continue reading I’ve no idea what this is…
There is a particular kind of satisfaction you get from reading something that is really, really well written - and "Homesick for Another World" gives me that in spades. It's a superbly crafted collection of short stories in which Ottessa Moshfegh delivers a whole carnival of characters from the dark under-belly of modern society (mainly … Continue reading “Homesick for Another World”
Congregation at a Twitcher’s Sunset “They beat out rhythmic drum solos on hollow trees. They watch me, watching them. They watch me as spies would, always out of reach. “Some bring gifts. Gift-giving is their natural repertoire placing them where they can’t be missed. By my bed, a small wooden box, each compartment … Continue reading Congregation at a Twitcher’s Sunset
The back cover of Phoebe Power's "Shrines of Upper Austria" promotes a 'formally restless collection' - and that's exactly right; the book employs multiple technical forms from the more traditionally poetic through to plain, undifferentiated prose. And because the sources are also eclectic - for example some reported speech, some German - what we end … Continue reading “Shrines of Upper Austria”
"The Many" is a wonderful little book. It's easy to see why it was long-listed for the Booker; Wyl Menmuir has done a great job here! It's difficult to talk about the book without giving anything away - so I've have to restrict myself to bland comments in terms of how well the sense of … Continue reading “The Many”
Sophie Collins' book "Who Is Mary Sue?" is another of those eclectic collections of words masquerading under the title of 'poetry'. There are a few poems in the book, but also snippets of prose, chunks of quotation, various flavours of narrative... At one point I was reminded - somewhat obscurely! - of Ezra Pound and … Continue reading “Who Is Mary Sue?”
The Goodreads.com Giveaway for my novella "Losing Moby Dick" is now closed. I just wanted to thank all the 236 people who have registered for the giveaway. With 100 Kindle books available, obviously not everyone will get one. Goodreads will be selecting the lucky winners at random over the next 24 hours.