poetry book review roundup

Hummingbird by Sophia Elaine Hansen

Microwave Noveau by Liam Bates @wordswithpurple

Shot Glass Confessional by Cyrus Parker


These are 3 short poetry collections. All different.


Sophia Elaine Hanson is the bestselling author of The Vinyl Trilogy and Hummingbird was her 1st poetry collection. She has written another 2. It’s a good book.


I cannot remember a great deal of Microwave Noveau, other than I liked the tone of the writing and the topics that were written about. Liam Bates has a pamphlet coming out from Broken Sleep books on the 17th of June, titled Working Animals

undefinedI’m trying to not buy more books, I’ll probably make an exception for this one.


undefinedShot Glass Confessional is good. It’s short, the poems are short. It isn’t my favourite by Cyrus Parker. I loved Masquerade.undefined


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Masquerade by Cyrus Parker.

Every poem in Masquerade by Cyrus Parker I want to put my arms around and embrace. As somebody still discovering their identity I can relate all too well to Parker’s words. I enjoyed this book more than their first book, as I felt I could relate to the poems more.

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Fixer-upper

self-confidence is built in layers,
the same way a house begins

with bare bones before becoming a home:
and just as each house has its own layout,

there isn’t only one set of blueprints,
one right way to build self-confidence.

sometimes it starts from the inside out
as one learns to love themselves, and

sometimes it starts from the outside in
as one projects the person they hope to be.

sometimes, you have to tear everything
down and start over from the ground up.


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From New Zealand. Poems from Digging Holes to Another Continent, a poetry chapbook by Isabelle Kenyon ( @kenyon_isabelle )

Hahei Beach at 7pm

Heads bobbing like seals,

squeals the unique frequency of teenage years

too old to play sand castles,

adrenaline – coursed veins cannot process the cold without an allergic reaction

(survival purpose: unconscious

attract attention,

a male,

procreate).

Bodies of potential,

naturally bleached

by gentle sun rays.

The Drive To The North

Sea lappinThoughtsg at car tyres,

soft sparkles,

sky a pale imitation of waves

rising in mountains

then mole hills –

the sirens call for human toes to step

in over

the edge

‘I dare you’.

Beach Thoughts

Yesterday you were beautifully pearly sheened,

white warmth in your embrace,

calm, serene.

Today you give me the washed up,

chewed up

spat out –

no cushioned sand but

pebbled words and

seaweed clings to your tongue,

sours –

You are not who I thought you were.

It did not take a tsunami

but a tidal wave

to change your heart.

Review Quotes:

Kenyon explores the difficulty of dealing with a loss in a place far removed from where the loss occurred. She also interrogates the complicated emotions felt upon returning home to a familiar setting, now absent of those loved ones associated with home… Ultimately, Digging Holes to Another Continent is a small but powerful chapbook that carries the reader through the ups and downs of travel, family, love and loss. The final poem (which I will let you read for yourselves!) is an extremely strong and thought-provoking finale. Definitely readable in one sitting, Kenyon’s poems each tell a story on their own, but collected into a chapbook, create a captivating narrative you won’t regret reading.’ – Beth O’Brien, Mad Hatter Reviews


Poems Fossil Fuel & Cycle. Written by Barry Fentiman Hall.

Fossil Fuel

I did not want it
This longing for a stone
That I will never find
Evidence of life lived
I held it once
A clean slate
Under grey flat skies
At Staithes sluice
Seaworn and smooth
My perfect ammonite
Was fuel for my heels
Salted my battles to come
My father spoke for me
Said I did not want it
So it was left, like my father
Washed by the North Sea
They both lived once
And they shone for me

Cycle

The sound of morning
Whistles in my ears
Machine noises off
My body and the cars outside
Indistinguishable
It recalls Acomb dawns
When dragons drew breath
On far rails at the edge
Of my senses
My ride to work past
Adverts for Meat Is Murder
And the smiles of Ashfield Girls
At my streaming hair
Was a time of dreaming
My youth training scheme
Waiting to wake me
From such anticipations
I am fully woken now
Four pills down by 7am
Is how I greet
My oldest friends
That burn in my heart
And ache in my bones
I would not miss them
Not in the slightest
This is the road to admission
That those times
Will not come again
Posting pictures of wilt and weeds
To good people staring
Through the other side
Of the looking glass
Is how I pass my ride
This is a new cycle
Morrissey is not what he was
And the college gates are gone
The queen is dead boys
The queen is dead
But I am still alive
And that boy still rides
If you look deep
In my eyes, blue still
After all these years
Of sleep

BIO – BARRY FENTIMAN HALL

Barry Fentiman Hall (BFH) is a writer based in the Medway region of Kent. He is primarily a poet of place. He has been published in several journals such as Picaroon, Anti-Heroin Chic, I Am Not A Silent Poet, and Crack The Spine. His debut solo collection The Unbearable Sheerness Of Being was published by Wordsmithery in 2015. His latest book England, My Dandelion Heart has just been launched (Wordsmithery 2018) . He is also the host of Roundabout Nights, Chatham’s oldest regular live lit night and the editor of Confluence Magazine. He has been a commissioned writer for Northfleet Big Local, Wandering Words, and 23 Submarines. He has a thing for hares.

Fossil Fuel and Cycle were published by Wordsmithery in England, My Dandelion Heart

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Here comes the Sun 🌞 Book Birthday

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I wasn’t going to celebrate this, but then I usually try to avoid such things, like celebrating my own birthday, and publishing your own book is an achievement, so my poetry chapbook Here comes the Sun is one today! I spent a large part of June in 2017 working on this chapbook, before uploading the file onto Createspace. The poems were written whilst I was travelling in 2016. I left home, my boyfriend and I were travelling, living in hotels, and having a good time. The book has gotten some great reviews from readers. I value reviews so much. The feedback helps me to be a better writer, and on days I am not motivated can really raise spirit.

I also want to thank Jennifer Patino for her review of my other book La La Love.

La La Love hands out small poetic doses with each turn of the page. Katie Lewington’s voice and style are enough to cause an addiction. This collection is personal, but doesn’t give away all of the poet’s secrets. Instead the reader is presented with beautiful skimmings of surfaces until the closing lines of each poem, where Lewington successfully brings our minds to a much deeper climax. Excellent poetry.

I am now going to talk about my writing routine.

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I have usually written my poems, ad hoc in most cases, and when I see a theme emerging I work on compiling those poems. With Here comes the Sun that theme was travel. I had the poems all handwritten, and I started to edit the the poems, and to try to put them in an order that made them sit comfortably into the context of the book. I didn’t want to put, for example, two poems about the beach together that would have not moved the reader in the same way if they had read them two, three poems apart.
There was one poem, which I liked, that I cut from Here comes the Sun. I didn’t feel it had enough substance to it. These decisions have to be done, but they are not easy. Editing is a difficult part of the process. As I get older I see the value in doing so, and orchestrating the book in a way it will get the right emotional responses from its reader.
I then get the completed book read by my boyfriend. He’s so smart, and knows about everything, so I feel my poetry is in safe hands. I wait for a yay or nay (his feedback is literally that succinct) With his support I feel more confident about my new book.
I think any writer feels a bit fragile after writing their book. Best to have a short nap afterwards.
That is pretty much it, compiling, editing, and feedback. Of course, the time between steps can be weeks, months, or years. I tend to procrasinate around the editing part. That’s where a lot of the living happens and I have to make the time inbetween that to work on my writing: fixing errors, changing titles, making sense of my scribbles etc.
It can be lonely as well. For all of social medias faults it has made it easier for writers to confab with each other about their craft, which I think is pretty awesome.


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