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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mandy Pannett’s All The Invisibles

Mandy Pannett’s All The Invisibles

Mandy Pannett’s All The Invisibles (SPM Publications, 2012) is an uplifting, grounded and coherent collection of poems that stem from a deep absorption in the history and mythology of the English landscape and natural world. It is a living awareness of the literary and historical associations of the people, animals and wildlife that live on or near the land. These diverse poems, wonderfully rooted in the things of the world that inspire and intrigue, converge into a pattern of existence that is at once both magical and lived in the raw.  The great strength of these poems is that they are open to the natural world in both its light and shade. Pannett, a regular contributor to Tears in the Fence for the past two decades, has a keen awareness of the potential and danger within the borderland of wilderness and a cultivated culture, impinged as it is by knowledge and shadow. Many of the poems point to a movement outside of ordinary relationships that stunts, liberates or neutralizes. This frisson undercuts the poems that offer sunlight to produce a continual counter-movement of broken bliss. The heart and body is at once, through reference to the Romantics, geology, toxins and decomposition, out of kilter with and vulnerable to the dialectic of the land.


The Hurt Of Man


…                      A black and wolvish

world of ice, too thick at first


to shatter-cut while hurt of man

is seeding in the grass. Enough


to measure shadows with a twig

and cranberry notch, for time to turn around


the waning moon. Violating

silent girls he sees that those who plough


the viper fight for guts of fish. Now

a wolf devours the light …



This exceptional collection, written by a poet who understands her craft and is finding more than mystery in the world, is highly recommended.


David Caddy


Chris McCabe & Jeremy Reed’s Whitehall Jackals

Chris McCabe & Jeremy Reed’s Whitehall Jackals

Chris McCabe & Jeremy Reed’s Whitehall Jackals: A London Collaboration published by Nine Arches Press is a significant addition to the poetry of London. Their wide-eyed, X-rayed Cubist vision of London is more than a cultural mapping. Written between January and April 2011 it is partly a response to war atrocities in Iraq and the ‘oligarchical political regime of czars, spin, deception and pathological lies’ all left unopposed by mainstream British poetry.


Their poetry interacts and revolves around the underlying instabilities, historical and pyschogeographical interplay of the city. Horizontal and vertical layers of story are contextualized and abstracted to reveal multifarious states of being, control and flux.

The past and present of London’s streets, pubs, clubs are worked on and over so that the reader penetrates deeper into the experience of lived London. The near past echoing in the present and time-cut back and forth to embody an attitude that invokes subversive play:


Peckham Rye (Hymn For Blake)


February 8 : Levi banshee with cheek-scarf & iPod. No.63.

7.48 am. NO VISION.


February 13 : dreadnought Sunday, chalk-flecks of commuters.

No. 63. 7.32 am. NO VISION.


February 18 : white Mac motherboard reboot, joggers like

Data-strings. No. 12. 7.02 am. NO VISION


February 19 : concentrics of rain in puddles as if Scientologists’

Little gods are sticklebacks. No. 63. 8.12 am. NO VISION



Responding to each other’s obsessions, they use found and localized materials to anchor their edgy scripts. Their writing makes you smile, laugh, wonder and leave you wanting more.


David Caddy

Hool Goes There

Hool Goes There

Ric Hool’s Selected Poems has just appeared from Red Squirrel Press and it can be obtained from Sheila Wakefield, the Founding Editor of that interesting and attractive publishing venture. The address is Briery Hill Cottage, Stannington, Morpeth NE61 6ES:


It is very appropriate that this new volume of Ric’s should come out from the North East since this is where he hails from. Equally appropriate is the inclusion in the volume of the ‘Five Devotions to Barry MacSweeney’ which had originally been published in the summer of 2002 in Tears Number 32. When Ric Hool’s Collective Press volume, Making It, appeared in 1998 it had a back cover which included MacSweeney’s blurb: ‘I like it very much and find the firmness and sureness of the lyricism refreshing in this cynical and flaky world. A poet with a joyful soul is rare indeed these days.’ Another quotation on the back of that little volume is from Chris Torrance who commented that ‘the poet is not supplying any easy answers, but posing dilemmas that are philosophical, ethical, ecological. It is work that I can read again, knowing that it is durable, poetry that can move with time.’


Those comments are equally appropriate to this new volume and as Fiona Owen says ‘Themes such as space, mapping and music trickle through the book like a stream.’


With these comments in mind I want to highlight the new Oystercatcher Press volume of Amy Cutler’s Nostalgia Forest. This is an astonishingly attractive chapbook which everybody should get hold of and Peter Larkin’s comments on it are worth taking very seriously indeed: ‘Though any forest memory may be at best like one of Aristotle’s “shaggy waxes”, these diagrammatic profiles offer intimations of calamity or nurture, or a tonal or atonal transversal of timber, itself an astute truncation of nostalgia’s own magnetic time-intervals.’ If you are in London on Thursday June 6th then do go to the evening of drinks and live music at the launch of a belfry exhibition of small press poems, one-off editions, book works, art and archival photographs. Copies of Nostalgia Forest will be on sale there.


Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig                                            /                                             Tha tìm, am fiadh, an Coille Hallaig

7.30 at The Belfry Art Gallery, St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA

Ian Brinton




Two books by Ian Brinton from Shearsman Books

Two books by Ian Brinton from Shearsman Books

Thrills and Frills, Selected Prose of Andrew Crozier edited by Ian Brinton: Michael Schmidt once wrote that Crozier ‘is a magnificent critic, moving with the certainty of a glacier, gathering everything.’ This collection of Crozier’s prose contains work that has never been reprinted since its initial publication in magazines from the 1960s to 1990s as well as material that has never been published at all. It is very much a companion volume to An Andrew Crozier Reader (Carcanet 2012) and nothing from the former volume is repeated here.


‘An intuition of the particular’, some essays on the poetry of Peter Hughes edited by Ian Brinton: these essays and interviews are by a range of critics and friends and they give a wide-ranging perspective on the work of this important contemporary poet whose work is going from strength to strength. The Knives Forks and Spoons Press has just published Snowclone Detritus, Hughes’s take on Petrarch’s sonnets 97-116. ‘This is terrific work’ says John James. Peter Hughes’s Selected Poems will form a highlight of the forthcoming Shearsman reading at Swedenborg Hall in Bloomsbury on Tuesday May 7th at 7.30. for further details see the Shearsman website.


The Shearsman books are available from

Snowclone Detritus can be got from



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