Review: Nelson & Hitchens, Cameron and Crewe & O’Loughlin

[This review first appeared in Poetry Wales]

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Spreadsheet Politics

In which the clash of quantitative data with literature makes bad politics happen, and I’m sorry.

The Glittering Prizes

In which I talk about the problems (and, a bit, the values) of prize culture in the UK.

Written for The Poetry Review.

Review: Sheenagh Pugh, Short Days, Long Shadows

[This review first appeared in Poetry Wales] * Sheenagh Pugh, Short Days, Long Shadows (Seren) The blurb of Sheenagh Pugh’s twelfth collection Short Days, Long Shadows describes her as a poet who ‘considers “too accessible” to be the best sort of compliment’. So often the back of a book of a book of poetry sells…

Review: Lawrence Sail, Peter Hughes, J. O. Morgan, Brendan Kennelly

[This review first appeared in PN Review.] * Lawrence Sail, The Key to Clover and other essays (Shoestring Press) Peter Hughes, Allotment Architecture (Reality Street) J.O. Morgan, At Maldon (CB editions) Brendan Kennelly, Guff (Bloodaxe) Running through Lawrence Sail’s The Key to Clover and other essays is a division of the world into that which can…

Review: Mir Mahfuz Ali, Midnight, Dhaka

[this review first appeared in Poetry Wales] * Midnight, Dhaka by Mir Mahfuz Ali (Seren) It’s unclear whether the publicists for, and previous commentators on, Mir Mahfuz Ali’s collection Midnight, Dhaka have radically misread the book, or whether they’ve consciously shied away from mentioning what is certainly the central tenet and most striking feature of…