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Archive for January 2018

Hurray and congrats to Susan Lewis​, her book Heisenberg’s Salon was just reviewed at Hyperallergic​!!!


Expect Catastrophe in Poems Built from Tension

In Heisenberg’s Salon, Susan Lewis reveals the irrational lurking within every gesture, symbol, structure, and sentiment.

However defined, prose poems usually confound me. They often come off as series of conventional paragraphs—what looks to me as bricks of text arranged in walls of white—no more poetic than any other prose. The prose poems that comprise Heisenberg’s Salon, Susan Lewis’s new collection, refreshingly generate cadence, rhythm, arresting rhymes. In short, they read like true poems because they are. But in the spirit of a volume that nervously veers and upends, let me depart my focus on form for an observation of atmosphere: These poems are tense!

They are also intense. Lewis refuses causal, casual, transparent notions of relations between concepts, people, or situations. She senses the irrational lurking within every gesture, symbol, structure, and sentiment. She does not exult in confusion and skepticism but dutifully communicates them— a radical and welcome honesty.

These poems visit seemingly commonplace scenarios, often with an unnamed “she” and “he” sharing confidences or company, which leads to some unexpected catastrophe. Or rather, unexpected if one is not prepared to share Lewis’s frightening logic that catastrophe is one of more usual developments we can come to expect.

Read the whole review here

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MOCK TROUGH RASPING CROW review in Litter Magazine (UK)

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Steve Spence

"Mock Trough Rasping Crow" by Billy Cancel. 104 pp. Pub. BlazeVOX Books. ISBN: 978-1-60964-293-8

 I first came across billy cancel (or Will Morris/Billy Asbo as he was then known) in Plymouth some years back as he was a regular at Language Club events for some time when he lived in the South West before he moved to New York. I was very impressed with his work ‘on the page’ and with his live performances which were something special. Whatever ‘it’ is he had and clearly still has it in abundance. I was slightly surprised then to discover that despite sending his work to magazines very little of it seemed to be getting into print. Things move on and we lost contact until quite recently when I discovered that he’s been publishing and performing on a regular basis and following a series of chapbooks his first full-length publication (108 pages) is now up-and-running. And what a collection it is!

Mock Trough Rasping Crow is a book in eight sections. Each poem is twenty lines long and each includes a title, emboldened and in italic, as either the opening line or a section of the opening line, eg:  ‘in the event of fire we will all hang out   same way   we tolerate’. The visual element of these individual pieces is important as they look splendid, perched on the page in their varying shapes and layouts. They remind me of what I experienced when I first looked at J.H. Prynne’s Collected Poems, for example, and are also reminiscent, visually, of the poetry of Christopher Brownsword, another fascinating, under-recognised poet. The cover artwork – also by cancel – is a beautiful mix of colour, shape and text, a collage which combines the aesthetic with the everyday, an aspect which I’m sure the late Tom Raworth would have appreciated, as he would have appreciated the poetry enclosed within the book’s covers. I mention this because I can recall seeing Will read at the Language Club on an occasion when Raworth was the main guest reader and Raworth in his down-to-earth and amiable way, being very impressed with Will’s material. 

Read the whole review here

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr