A Little History of Poetry by John Carey

Reviewed by Rob Spence, 31 March 2020 In 1935, the doyen of art critics, Ernst Gombrich, was a young, unemployed former student with a PhD in art history.  He was commissioned by an Austrian publisher to write a short history of the world, primarily for younger readers. He managed the task in six weeks, and…

Moder Dy by Roseanne Watt

Reviewed by Hayley Anderton I’ve been following Roseanne Watt for a while via Twitter (@DrRosebland) and Instagram with the sense that this was somebody worth keeping an eye on. With that in mind, I’d been looking forward to reading her first collection of poetry (with which she won the Edward Morgan poetry award for 2018)…

The Book of Baruch by the Gnostic Justin by Geoffrey Hill

Reviewed by Rob Spence When Geoffrey Hill died in 2016, his monumental Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952 -2012 was still fresh, its astonishing range and scope providing ample testimony to the poet’s achievements over six decades. It seemed as if that volume would provide a fitting capstone to a career in which he had resolutely followed…

Under the Rock: the poetry of a place by Benjamin Myers

Reviewed by Rebecca Foster Benjamin Myers has been having a bit of a moment. In 2017 Bluemoose Books published his fifth novel, The Gallows Pole, which went on to win the Roger Deakin Award and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and is now on its fourth printing. This taste of fame has brought…

The Flame – Leonard Cohen

Reviewed by Rob Spence For a while in the mid sixties to the early seventies, the singer-songwriter reigned supreme in popular music. Dylan, of course, was the pioneer, followed by James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and the rest of the hipperati of Laurel Canyon and beyond. Riding on the first wave, Leonard Cohen, recruited…