Justin Lowe is a poet, editor and occasional reviewer who lives in a house called Doug in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney where he edits poetry blog Bluepepper. His seventh collection, The Picketer, was released late last year, and his latest, Hall of Mirrors, is currently doing the rounds of publishers. He has had poems put to music by such acts as The Whitlams and The Impossibles, and has published widely around the world, most recently in Meanjin,  Verity La, Blue Nib (Ireland) The Cortland Review (USA).

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My review of this dazzling book has been delayed by my father’s recent death. But the greatest tribute I can give to Anne Casey is to say that reviewing her work has been one of my greatest consolations in the past several weeks. I find myself rereading the poems in this collection several times a day, like a devout person telling their prayer beads.

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 It’s a delight to be able to join in the celebrations of Kevin Higgins’s stylish, urgent, and hell-raising new pamphlet tonight: in my experience, there’s nothing quite like it in the world of Irish poetry and literary criticism. If I were to distill down to a single element what I love, and what I believe is so necessary and unique, about Kevin’s work, it’s the wild and delicious ease (to be found in abundance in this pamphlet) in skewering the pieties of both the political and literary establishments:

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Richard James Allen is a widely published and prize winning author, as well as being a multi-talented artist excelling in many art-forms, he describes himself as a poet, dancer, film director, actor, novelist and choreographer. His latest novel More Lies contains 33 chapters, each chapter no longer than one and a half pages, it is a small book but what it contains is a treasure of laughs and lies.

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Elinor Nauen was born & raised in South Dakota and currently lives in New York City. Her books include CARS & Other Poems, American Guys, So Late into the Night, Now That I Know Where I’m Going, My Marriage A to Z, and, as editor, Ladies, Start Your Engines: Women writers on cars & the road and Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Women writers on baseball. She has been published in many magazines & anthologies. 

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Claire Gaskin has been writing and publishing her poetry for over three decades.She has authored five books of poetry: A Snail in the Ear of the Buddha, a bud (shortlisted for the John Bray SA Festival Award for Literature in 2008), Paperweight, Eurydice Speaks and Ismene’s Survivable Resistance. Claire’s poetry has been anthologised, studied at universities and has been the subject of an Melbourne University Honours thesis.

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There is no tranquillity in Claire Gaskin’s fourth poetry collection, Ismene’s Survivable Resistance. Though Gaskin draws on Sophocles’ plot and constellation of characters, this is not a tragedy. The tragedy has already occurred. As in Eurydice Speaks, Gaskin assumes the voice of the voiceless in a contemporary setting. Here Ismene is a poet grappling with her traumatic past. The reader of her poems is in the position of witness. 

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Abigail Chabitnoy is an American poet of Germanic and Alutiiq heritage, and How to Dress a Fish is her first collection of poetry. The book is the outcome of Chabitnoy’s project to find out what she could about her great-grandfather, Michael, a Native Alaskan purportedly orphaned as a boy, and taken from his family to Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania in 1909.

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