Category Archives: reviews (some antique)

Once Were Informationists

(This review of Peter McCarey’s collected pamphlets appeared in Edinburgh Review 132, and is a look at what some Scottish poets did post-MacDiarmid and pre-Internet.) Peter McCarey, Collected Contraptions (Carcanet), 173pp, £14.95 Truth is sunk in information (‘Variations for Richard … Continue reading

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The Shock of Liberty

(This review of Hass and Williams appeared in the Summer issue of Poetry Review.) Robert Hass, The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected poems (Bloodaxe), 352pp, £15; C.K. Williams, Wait (Bloodaxe), 125pp, £9.95 There is an exhilaration about reading … Continue reading

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A Box of NOX and Other Containers

Anne Carson, Nox (New Directions), unpaginated; Allison Funk, The Tumbling Box (C&R Press), 71pp; Louise Glück, A Village Life (Carcanet), £9.95, 72pp In a curious way these three very different collections dovetail together, or rather the others are contained within … Continue reading

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Four Beginnings

Sarah Broom, Tigers at Awhitu (Carcanet Oxford Poets), £9.95, 73pp; Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Inroads (Seren), £7.99, 64pp; Adam O’Riordan, In the Flesh (Chatto & Windus) ?49pp; Sam Willetts, New Light for the Old Dark (Cape Poetry), £10.00, 55pp There are two … Continue reading

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The Great Moc Gonagall

Norman Watson, Poet McGonagall: The Biography of William McGonagall (Birlinn) One of the first books of poetry I remember from my childhood is listed in the bibliography to this new life of William McGonagall, the enigmatic purveyor of bad verse … Continue reading

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Humouristic Writings for Elderly Scottish Owls

Here’s a positively ancient review I just uncovered for Hoots! an Anthology of Scottish Comic Writing edited by Susie Maguire and David Jackson Young (Polygon, 1997) . Well, I suppose they had to call it something. Continue reading

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Allegoric Transfusions

(This is a fuller version of the review of Seamus Heaney’s translations of Henryson appearing in the last issue of The Scottish Review of Books) Continue reading

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Region versus Province: from the intro to Lit

I thought it might be worth posting an edited version of this intro to the NU anthology, Lit,, especially as it attempts to make a historical argument for the integrity of the North East as a literary region. (An argument, incidentally, echoed by Seamus Heaney when interviewed during his visit.) Also, even though it’s only a year old, events have already begun revising the teritory under discussion, so I’ve added a couple of paragraphs of update [these are the ones in square brackets]. It’s not the principle intention of posting this piece to promote the anthology, though it is a very fine anthology. Continue reading

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The Long Haul

(A version of this review of David Constantine, Sheenagh Pugh and what turned out to be Peter Porter’s final collection appeared in the summer 2009 issue of Poetry London)
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Consolations

Maura Dooley, Life Under Water (Bloodaxe), 64pp, £7.95; Leontia Flynn, Drives (Cape), 58pp, £9.00; Glyn Maxwell, Hide Now (Picador), 68pp, £8.99 (This appears in a slightly tighter form in the Spring 09 issue of Poetry London.) What we might term … Continue reading

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