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Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Draft Will by Peter Robinson (Isobar Press)

The Draft Will by Peter Robinson (Isobar Press)

In ‘A Performing Art’, one of the short pieces of discursive writing from the last section of this collection of anecdotes, reminiscences and prose poems, Peter Robinson quotes from a postcard written in February 1934 by Ezra Pound to Mary Barnard:

‘Thing is to cut a shape in time. Sounds that stop the flow, and durations either of the syllables, or implied between them, “forced onto the voice” of the reader by nature of the “verse”’

The context for Robinson’s quotation is the world of the ‘Poetry Reading’ and he highlights the Cambridge International Poetry Festival which was held every two years between 1975 and 1985. He cuts his own shapes in time by giving us clarity, sharp outlines:

‘I can still quite clearly picture Hans Magnus Enzensberger at the third festival in June 1979 on stage in the darkened Corn Exchange at Cambridge. He was reading from his poem The Sinking of the Titanic in German and his own English translation. Enzensberger’s face was extremely mobile: ingenuousness, sarcasm, disgust and pity passed across his features as he read. He had been in Italy and was wearing a white summer suit that seemed slightly luminous under the spotlights. When he reached the end of the poem where imaginary and symbolic passengers are swimming away from the ship, Enzensberger seemed to have turned the darkness of the Corn Exchange into an Atlantic Ocean.’

Timing and presentation! Atmosphere and an awareness of the power of what you are reading! Shades of Basil Bunting’s ‘Villon’:

‘precision clarifying vagueness;
boundary to a wilderness
of detail; chisel voice
smoothing the flanks of noise’

In the previously unpublished autobiographical sketch, ‘Hit the Road, Jack’ (composed for the centenary of Linacre Infants and Junior School), there is a moving sense of attempting to give formal boundaries to a past long gone. The formality of the reconstruction is there in the precision:

‘There were two playgrounds, divided by a wall. The one on the left, if you were facing towards the Mersey, was for the Infants; the larger one on the right, for the Juniors.’

With the introduction of a class photograph, ‘a black and white class photo that lay around unconsidered in my parents’ house for years and years’, the past tense becomes the present tense as a long-gone world is brought back into focus. This is the way with photographs: they can make you realise that there are things you know that you didn’t know you knew! Names of people unmet for sixty years emerge out of a darkness:

‘On my immediate left in the photograph is Barbara Penny. On the other side of her is Colin Wells. On the back row, three from the left is Billy Morrison. When the school’s centenary was announced in Liverpool, with a call for memories and memorabilia, Billy heard about it from his family, found me on the Internet, and sent a message from British Columbia, in which he added some more names to the faces.’

Prompted by the catalyst, the photograph, ‘It comes back to me as I write that we learned how to tell the time in this class’ and Ray Charles’ song ‘Hit the Road, Jack’ emerges from being a US number one and a UK number 6 hit in 1961 to the fore of the author’s mind:

‘I can recall clearly standing on the asphalt of the playground of the Junior School at about home time thinking it would certainly hurt if you hit the road, and wondering why Jack would want to do it anyway.’

A few days ago Jeremy Prynne said to me ‘You know, Ian, I borrowed a line from Tim Longville’s last poem in his collection Familiarities for one of my poems.’ The words borrowed, ‘then back’, come from Longville’s ‘Back Out’ (1967) and they emerge, repeated, in one of the poems from Her Weasels Wild Returning (1994). When I mentioned this to Longville he replied ‘at Spartylea, I encouraged and led group-chantings of that little piece, in an exaggeratedly rhythmic cod-Northern-style—chantings in which, improbable though it may seem, Jeremy was an enthusiastic participant. Those occasions, and hence that poem, may well have stuck in his mind. So much, after all, does.’ In Peter Robinson’s delightful little vignette Jack may well ‘hit the road’ but he most certainly does come back.

This book of thoughts and recollections is another of those most handsome publications given to us by Paul Rossiter’s Isobar Press (available from London Review Bookshop) and, needless to add, it is well-worth getting hold of. Not least for the deeply moving account of the events surrounding the author’s discovery he was suffering from a brain tumour, and how after its removal he was able to return to his teaching in Japan.

An earlier quotation from that Pound postcard reads ‘Precision in KNOWING how long the different notes take in a given place’. Peter Robinson’s delicate care in his writing gives us that precision in KNOWING.

Ian Brinton 29th November 2015

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Finis-terre by David Pollard (Agenda Editions)

Finis-terre by David Pollard (Agenda Editions)

This meditative poem in eight parts modulates the movement towards the stillness and the silence associated with the rock-bound peninsula of Galicia’s Finisterre, the end of the known world, (until the discovery of the Americas) is packed with allusions and implied renewal. Finis-terre effectively evokes both ends and finality through a series of moments ‘at the edge of the wide waters’ flaying’, and instills a sense of seriousness about mortality and poetic endeavour.

This silence ‘always ever here’ among the breaking seas echoes the dark veil of night and the words that stem from such a place and position. That remarkable poet of silence Edmond Jabès, ‘Your story is that of the waves, which break at our ankles and sometimes, whip our faces. One and the same story, one and the same wave’ and Stéphane Mallarmé preface the work: ‘Certainement subsiste pr´sence de Minuit’ / ‘Certainly a presence of Midnight subsists’.

The poem, which begins with the ‘dead of nothing’ at midday moves towards midnight and beyond, dramatically placing the narrator-poet at the edge of this time and place watchfully contemplating the movement at thought’s edge’ as the fishermen row out to sea:

here, in the still mind’s longing,
in the far west and the earth’s end;

The poem’s attentiveness and articulation of these moments as echoes, from the rocks outwards, of endings has a strong pull through its rhythmic structure and clarity. The poem could be read as a movement towards clarity rather than death. Drawing upon the wild peninsula’s reputation as the ‘coast of death’ as many fishing and other vessels left the port never to return the narrator moves from the singular to the collective:

We oar the long seas skyward, westward
in our pale glance, always unable to face round
against its threatening jaws as long as
all the inharmonious tackle
preys into the soughing winds
will never,
cannot ever, aspire
yet dreams itself from all its fears
there at its back
a part of all its futures
coasting nearer as the day darkens
into a nothingness beyond the last
twitch of a toe or tender eggshell of a finger,
palm and hand’s caress and modulation
of a touch and smile and teardrop.

The narrator finds dread, root of beauty, fuse and flower, the echo of return, shadows under things and a sense of being just before silence in ‘the pungent hearing of the eye’ and certainties of no return. Prior to midnight, then, a complex borderland of endings and echoes draws the narrator to closer engagement with mortality:

Thus does the poet write
not with the pen
but with mortality between his fingertips
prey to the doubts that skin commands
at each long draft of break;
and thus against the dead of nothing doing
can he place with terrible care each word
against forgetfulness.

This unemotionally asserts writing over memory, attention over slippage, and presence over absence, in the knowledge that we have one life against the darkness to come.

The final parts, full of cadence and soaring imagery, draw to a close with the poet catching the ‘tang of harshness’ before clarity:

He cannot, nor the great swan of angels
cannot, like the cocks of Hades
crow him then to a new morn.
only the muse to tread the rocks
– the dead and sea-welt rocks –
with him in peril to a new counterpoint
and sudden nakedness of flesh and eye
and word
and word.

The poem has a wonderful precision, poise and distinctness, and comes with an introduction by Jason M. Wirth and helpful notes at the end. It will surely add to Pollard’s growing reputation.

David Caddy 24th November 2015

History or Sleep by Robert Sheppard (Shearsman Books)

History or Sleep by Robert Sheppard (Shearsman Books)

In November 1981 Robert Sheppard wrote about the poetry of Kelvin Corcoran:
‘This is the first substantial selection of his work to have appeared and there is in it a celebration of a “human / world as obvious as phenomenology”.’ After referring to both A.N. Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty Sheppard makes the point that these poems do not use philosophy as a dead-weight ‘to be lumbered from poem to poem’:

‘Each moves with a speed that allows the poem to “accurately accompany”—not describe or philosophize about—the process of things in the world, which is “obvious”, maybe, but never simple. These poems do not catalogue a world of “inert fact”, but a series of “unseparated events” that nevertheless demands human consciousness to participate in perceiving its unity…As Olson before him learnt from Whitehead, “There is nothing in the real world which is merely an inert fact. Everything is there for feeling.”’
(Rock Drill, Number 3)

Robert Sheppard’s selected poems from Shearsman Books, History or Sleep, is threaded with a sense of the other. Not ‘The Other’ with its sense of a doppleganger but the other which exists in a type of absence, an ‘autrebiography’ or ‘unwritings’. The book is haunted by ghosts: Stan Tracey, Thelonious Monk, William Carlos Williams, Lee Harwood, Bob Cobbing, Charles Madge, Félix Guattari, Mina Loy, Veronica Forrest-Thomson, J.F. Hendry, Bill Griffiths. The opening poem, ‘Round Midnight’, plays from the outset with the phrase ‘The varnished Bechstein’ which tricks the eye immediately into seeing the word ‘vanished’ before giving the reader ‘the ghost’s hands / are also at their keyboard’:

‘The jumping hands below his bowed head
flesh an illusion, filling
the punched hollows as he watches.’

In ‘Returns’ the palpability of what is gone (‘When I’m / writing I’m thinking of you / as palpable as memory, somewhere / the other side of sense’) gives us ‘The touch / of your hand’ which ‘becomes almost a memory as you enter / a blank scenario’. And ‘Internal Exile’ is prefaced by a quotation from Julia Kristeva:

‘Writing is impossible without some kind of exile’.

This is not quite the same as Geoffrey Ward’s little essay on ‘The Brows with Ivy and with Laurel Bound’ in which ‘Language is doomed to unpunctuality, words chasing, describing, shadowing a reality they can do anything but actually be.’ It is perhaps more like Andrew Crozier’s Utamaro Variations in which the sun ‘breaks through the leaves / in a spectral flare’. Or, appropriately given the title of Sheppard’s magazine Rock Drill, like Pound’s Canto 93 in which we read ‘Risplende / From the sea-caves / degli occhi / Manifest and not abstract’.

The poems are ‘Murmuring memorials over / The haunted shifting sub-soil’ of Sachsenhausen and the sections from Words Out of Time merge a past long gone, memories of that past and the inevitable re-writing of a history as the poet gazes at what he carefully unpicks as truths:

‘I don’t remember going to the Grenada in Portland Road, Hove, don’t recall the film on show, and don’t remember, on the same day, seeing a play, or its plot, or its title. A frame set up, years later, by others. Outside of it there are voices, whispering. Empty landing, tall doors never shut, banging in any wind. The attic, its sloped tar-hair padding, muting all street sounds. On one page, attempts at painting, soaked blots, dried solid.’

Sheppard’s poetry-frame sets up that haunting I referred to at the beginning of this little piece of review and what was becomes seamlessly what is and the ‘punched hollows’ of the gone are filled with a lyric intensity that twists ‘into a thin-throated flower’ that ‘wavers in the vibrant gulf’.

Some four years ago Shearsman published one of the best introductions to the world of contemporary poetry, When Bad Times Made for Good Poetry (—episodes in the history of the poetics of innovation—). In his introduction Robert Sheppard made his position clear:

‘I have long held the view that the power of poetry is precisely that it both reveals itself—its poetic artifice is its undeniable facticity laid bare—and conceals itself, leaving the reader feeling that he or she has not finished, could indeed never finish, the work of reading. The text is inexhaustible in terms of both form and content and in terms of the unstable relationship between them. The writer is also strangely both present—as artificer—and simultaneously absent, from the poem; once the poem is read the only agent in or around the text is the reader.’

Towards the end of this excellent selection of his poems the poet gives us ‘The Word’ in which ‘A fish winching / itself across a screen of smudged clarities’ takes its own place in the ‘spaces of the poem’. This is a selection of poems to return to time and time again. Reading is an energetic engagement and I urge you to engage with these poems NOW.

Ian Brinton, 23rd November 2015.

100 Dutch Language Poets selected & translated by Paul Vincent and John Irons (Holland Park Press 2015)

100 Dutch Language Poets selected & translated by Paul Vincent and John Irons (Holland Park Press 2015)

Dutch poetry is not that well known outside of the Netherlands. This selection of Dutch poems written between the eleventh century and 2013 is a useful introduction to the themes and issues that inspired Dutch poets over a millennium. It has a similar scope to the Kaleidoscope anthology, edited by Martijn Zwart and Ethel Grene, in 1998. Here the original Dutch text and English translations, by the editors, are presented side by side. No one poet has more than a single poem. The editors, both educated in Modern Languages at Cambridge in the early Sixties, provide a detailed note outlining their predilection based on their reading and teaching. They have attempted to produce a notional canon of ‘important’ works with a series of informing balances between earlier and later, male and female, North and South. They commendably have included a good number of female poets as well as a chronological schema with summaries of the (numbered) poems themes from each era. This helpful device combined with links to further information references online and in print allows the reader to move around the anthology easily and to pick up on both micro and broader themes. It is good to see an anthology, which embraces famous poets, such as Hugo Claus, Willem Kloos, Gerrit Komrij, as well as less well known Dutch poets. Komrij himself produced a large anthology, Dutch poetry of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in 1000 and a few poems, also known as the ‘Fat Komrij’ in 1979.

Gaston Franssen’s Afterword offers an essay on the topography of Dutch poetry. This maps the connection between the landscape of the Netherlands and the attitudes of its poets. Their harsh critique of Dutch culture, framed within a loathing of the country’s landscape and climate, being part of a broader love-hate relationship between Dutch people and their country. The landscape is either loved or loathed with no middle ground. I find this fascinating in relation to the Dutch capacity for compromise, allowing different viewpoints and opposing practices to flourish within the law. Frannssen explores Dutch poets refusal to extol the virtues of the fatherland, unlike other Europeans, by tracing the history of the phrase ‘Holland at its most narrow’ (Holland op zijn smalst’) first used by Protestant minister and poet, Nicolaas Beets, in his 1860 poem, ‘Doorgraving van Holland op zijn smalst’ showing how it became a popular short-hand for a form of pettiness and narrow-mindedness and subsequently used in public and political debates. The rhetorical motif became a way of arguing that the Netherlands has always been too narrow for its canonical poets, many of whom chose to live abroad, and drawing upon the poetry of complaint for support.

Hendrik Marsman’s ‘Memory of Holland’, which implied that the terrain of Holland was metaphorically shaped by its history and cramped mentality, was voted the nation’s Best Poem of the Century in 2000.

P.A. De Génestet’s ‘Boutade’ earlier poem of complaint illustrates the tradition:

Oh land of filth and fog, of vile rain chill and stinging,
A sodden fetid plot of vapours dank and damp,
A vast expanse of mire and blocked roads clogged and clinging,
Brimful of gamps and gout, of toothache and of cramp!

Coming more up to date, Jules Deelder’s 1994 poem, ‘Blues On Tuesday’, continues the poem of complaint tradition:

No cash.
No light.
No speed.

No paper.
No wonder.
No weed.

No bread.
No time.
No idea.

No shit.
No damn.
No gear.

The anthology covers a large field of national poetry splendidly. Its weakness is in the lack of different approaches included after 1960. Some of the more recent poems included tend to fit a prescribed version of modern Dutch poetry, and in fairness the editors note their own limitations in their perspective. Ramsey Nasr’s in ‘The Land Of Kings’, written after an attack on the Royal Family, and published in a national newspaper on 1 May 2009, clearly fits the public tradition of poetic complaint.

I live in a land
where the animal-lover decides
from sheer goodness to shoot a fellow man

I live in a land
where the righteous believer decides
from respect to plant the knife in the heretic

This though is far removed from a considered private poetics and one wonders whether more diverse approaches could have been honoured to achieve a stronger balance.

David Caddy 19th November 2015

The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century edited by Victoria Bean & Chris McCabe (Hayward Publishing)

The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century edited by Victoria Bean & Chris McCabe (Hayward Publishing)

This sumptuously designed, colourful and beguiling anthology begins with a compendium of quotations on the nature of concrete poetry from poets past and present. The Bolivian poet, Eugen Gomringer, sums up the spirit of the early concrete movement: ‘The purpose of reduced language is not the reduction of language itself but the achievement of greater flexibility and freedom of communication. The resulting poems should be, if possible, as easily understood as signs in airports and traffic signs.’ And: ‘The visible form of concrete poetry is identical to its structure, as is the case with architecture.’ Here we have recognition that concrete poetry was more than a working around the materiality of language and that it was a way of working with that materiality towards a fresh communication in a broad range of forms.

Kenneth Goldsmith’s introductory essay analyses the collapse of concrete poetry in its first period and subsequent re-emergence in the digital age in relation to the technology of the typeface, typewriter and computer. He sees the changes as broadly running in parallel with ‘larger changes across cultural output.’ He cites the Brazilian Noigandres group of poets as the movement founders, as opposed to the German artist Max Bill, or Swedish poet, Öyvind Fahlström, who named the genre, with their efforts to create a universal picture language, a poetry that could be read by all, seeing this visual Esperanto as revolutionary in intent. Goldsmith gives attention to graphic space, as opposed to notions of it being a hybrid of text and image, as the key to understanding how this movement emerged and was conceptualised. This is central to Gomringer’s 1968 poem, ‘schweigen’ / ‘silence’:

schweigen schweigen schweigen
schweigen schweigen schweigen
schweigen
schweigen schweigen schweigen
schweigen schweigen schweigen

The poem works on many levels and leaves space around its margins and in the centre for the reader to engage and return to with a growing sense of its importance.

Drawing upon Poundian imagery and Joycean wordplay, the movement dovetailed with compression in advertising slogans, technological and poetic language use, and was firmly modernist in its rejection of subjective expression and negation of metaphor, lineation and organic form. It grew through extensive correspondence between international practitioners and reached its zenith in the Sixties with two special editions of the Times Literary Supplement, influential anthologies and exhibitions in galleries around the world. He links its decline to attitudes to typeface, in particular the reaction against the narrowness of Helvetica, seen as a Cold War artefact expressing unwanted binaries, the success of mail art, and the lack of a new role.

The digital age gave concrete poetry that new role. It now remixes language through text and image manipulation in even more condensed and multidimensional ways. Victoria Bean takes up this theme seeing the new concrete as a response to our immediate world, to culture and its rapid change, citing Turkish artist, Sekan Isin’s attempts to produce anti-codes to intervene against the codes imposed upon us and Ron King’s 2003 anti-war poem ‘Blah! Blah! Blair!’ It also, as Bean implies and is shown in the contents, gives women more of a voice in the art world. The Internet has opened up the past so that it is easier now to re-discover the work of Dom Sylvester Houédard, sadly not in the anthology, or Bob Cobbing the subject of a recent year long series of exhibitions around the country, or virtually visit Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Little Sparta garden.

Chris McCabe writes engagingly of the prehistory and stages of Shape Poetry, Pattern Poetry, Concrete Poetry (1953-1977), Visual Poetry and Vispo producing a more complex and satisfying account of the genre. He shows how the editors arrived at their anthology seeing the visual poets represented, following Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’, as travellers in both antique and future lands.

The poet artists are presented alphabetically from A-Z producing an unpredictable and random effect. Some of the classic exemplars, such as Augusto de Campos, Cobbing, Henri Chopin, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gomringer, Edwin Morgan, Décio Pignatari are represented here. The joy of this book comes more from the exuberance and vitality of the range of international contributors, the spread of generations from Susan Howe born in 1937 to Sarah Kelly born in 1985, and in opening any of its pages to be startled, excited and moved by words, such as Thomas A. Clark’s ‘the moment before / the moment before’, or Sophie Herxheimer’s ‘Disaster’, an Oulipian anagrammatic found in the word ‘disaster’ and shaped into a tear, and their transcriptions.

David Caddy 17th November 2015

Chances of a Storm by Rod Mengham (Carcanet Press)

Chances of a Storm by Rod Mengham (Carcanet Press)

Rod Mengham’s tale, ‘The Cloak’, is written in a tone of voice that reminds me of the compelling power of storytelling as exemplified by Tolstoy in the 1880s with his tales such as ‘What Men Live By’, ‘How Much Land Does a Man Need’ or ‘A Spark Neglected Burns the House’. At the same time, the anger and bitterness of injustice that threads its way through the storyteller’s art makes one realise how much the tale is about the very language used to tell it. When writing about the focus Dickens brought to bear upon sliding scales of value Mengham has, in the past, suggested that ‘A specific human complexity is reduced to the level of the lowest common denominator—exchange value—’. In his 1995 book, Language, he went on to give the reader a powerful passage from Our Mutual Friend in which Mr and Mrs Boffin search for an orphan to adopt and uncover an endless supply of equally dispensable human units:

‘The suddenness of an orphan’s rise in the market was not to be paralleled by the maddest records of the Stock Exchange. He would be at five thousand per cent discount out at nurse making a mud pie at nine in the morning, and (being inquired for) would go up to five thousand per cent premium before noon…fluctuations of a wild and South Sea nature were occasioned, by orphan-holders keeping back, and then rushing into the market a dozen together. But, the uniform principle at the root of all these various operations was bargain and sale…’

The bitter humour that juxtaposes the language of ‘Stock Exchange’ and ‘mud pie’ can be recognised in Mengham’s powerful story of ‘The Cloak’ which had been first published in PN Review 222 earlier this year before taking up its place in this fine collection being published by Carcanet this November.

‘The most affecting stories of urban poverty—workers dying of cold, starving in basements—were penned by a neat bourgeois from a small town whose louvred windows were never opened wide on impulse; its aesthetic awareness was tailored by having to choose the right kind of paving slab, riven or smooth. The repair, maintenance, adornment, beautification of the urban fabric was discussed during the evening passegiate. The walking and talking was conducted through the main shopping thoroughfare, which itself became the focus for rival schemes of showy benefaction. In this way, the town acquired its world-famous drain covers. Their extravagant designs were meant to publicise the wealth of donors, but only put the lid on their stench.’

The image of unpleasant matters being swept under the carpet is powerfully placed here and calls to mind the passage Dickens wrote about Newgate Prison in Sketches by Boz in which he refers to ordinary people strolling along streets, walking and talking, passing and repassing (passegiate)

‘this gloomy depository of the guilt and misery of London, in one perpetual stream of life and bustle, utterly unmindful of the throng of wretched creatures pent up within it—nay, not even knowing, or if they do, not heeding, the fact, that as they pass one particular angle of the massive wall with a light laugh or a merry whistle, they stand within one yard of a fellow creature, bound and helpless, whose hours are numbered, from whom the last feeble ray of hope has fled for ever, and whose miserable career will shortly terminate in a violent and shameful death.’

The pictures that appear on our international news channels, filling up the space between sports news and a dancing competition, are of refugees and migrants searching the globe for something more than starvation and bloodshed. In Mengham’s powerful tale they become symbolized by the one figure of ‘a man sitting by the dusty road that stretched out of view’. When asked by the narrator what is the matter the ‘man could not reply but pulled aside his cloak revealing a dead child’. The echo of the second ghost, that of Christmas Present, in A Christmas Carol is loud and clear. In Dickens’s tale the figures lurking beneath the ghost’s cloak are ‘yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish’ and they are named ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Want’. The warning is given ‘Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.’
Rod Mengham’s prophetic tale ends with the only hope that can survive: ‘All that might be preserved was the memory of their flight; and the poor man could now relinquish this charge to his listener.’ Like a modern-day Ancient Mariner the fleeing man tells his story:

‘Into this deadened world came the smallest flicker of life, like the flare of a match inside a blackened dome. It was the poor man’s voice, feeling its way in the dark towards the gossamer-like trance of words leading him almost against his will towards failing light. He began to tell his story—for the first and last time, since in the act of listening the writer could not help changing words, adding several details while leaving many out; and in general making the story his own; and the poor man perfectly realised this before laying his burden down.’

The dead child is to be placed in the garden of the highest tower ‘For there is the grave that is nearest to heaven’. But the tower from the opening of Mengham’s book on Language is, of course, that of Babel. When stories are told they will be in different languages and there will be enormous confusion. Perhaps the only way to reveal what is under the paving stones before the stench becomes unbearable and deadly is to attempt to keep language clean from ‘exchange value’. Or as Mengham put it in Language

‘It is in the area of tension generated between a horizon of fixed standards and a horizon of no standards that the conditions of identity can be explored.’

This new collection of poems and prose-poems contains two sequences that were published last year, The Understory (corrupt press) and Paris by Helen (Oystercatcher), both of which I wrote about in blog reviews in June and July 2014. But it also, most valuably, contains much, much more and for me the volume would be worth acquiring even if it were just for that marvellous, moving and central tale, ‘The Cloak’.

Ian Brinton 5th November 2015

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