I was delighted to do another review for London Grip, this time for Anna Robinson’s intriguingly named The Night Library. This is a book that sat on my bedside table for quite a few weeks. I thought I was too busy and avoiding my reviewer duties, but turns out the book was just patiently waiting for the exact moment it was needed…
…there was the book, within arm’s reach, and so I picked it up, said: “Shall I read a bit?” and opened it to the first poem. It began so:
At night, left to their devices, words rise
from their pages, using just their own warmth
to lift and hang and seek each other, like for like.
“Oh,” we thought, “yes,”’ and held each other tighter.
Read my full review here at London Grip.
Well I have just completed my first official poetry review. Does this make me a real poet now? It’s a bit like the first time I was asked to peer-review an article for an academic journal, or a book proposal for a publisher… That same ‘omg people think my opinions on this stuff are valid enough to be taken seriously!’ feeling is definitely there…
It’s an auspicious beginning to my poetry reviewing. An interesting (and free! this is the poetry equivalent of inspection copies clearly which… may prove to be a problem) pamphlet arrived with a lovely card from the author (let me tell you, there was no note of thanks from the academics whose work I reviewed!). Maria Apichella’s Paga was worth, and indeed needed, more than one read, weaving its themes of loss, belief and origin with bright slashes of humour. An uncompromising and often uncomfortable collection that stayed deeply human, deeply humane, throughout.
Read my full review, complete with several extracts from the collection, at London Grip.