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“A poet of fantastic inversions.” Poetry London

“Multifaceted, mega-fabricated, louche architecture.” Magma

“Voraciously experimental, precociously accomplished.” Poetry International

Single Poem Roundup: Williams, Hovda, Crymble

Let’s look at three recently published poems from three different authors and three different online journals. I’ve picked: ‘Heirloom’ by Phillip Crymble, published in issue 13 of Bad Lilies; ‘How to Tank in Overwatch 2‘ by Sara Hovda, published in Cartridge Lit; and ‘Static’ by Chrissy Williams and Tom Humberstone, published in issue 3 of […]

Reckless Extravagance

This post is duplicated from my Substack, Stray Bulletin. Part one of a mega February-to-May catch-up. Saucy Seaside Postcards I’ve published a large number of poems over the last decade which have never been collected into one single-author volume. Some are part of Sidekick anthologies and very happily nested there, while others are intended for future books […]

Frayed Ends: On the Longevity of Digital Poetry

Change, change — that’s what the terns scream                                        down at their seaward rocks;fleet clouds and salt kiss — everything else is provisional,                                        us and all our works.  —  ‘Fianuis’ by Kathleen Jamie This paper was originally delivered as a talk at Poetry, Representation and the Archive, a symposium hosted by the University of East Anglia on 25th May 2023. My practice […]

Still Life With Octopus / Tania Hershman

The poems in Still Life With Octopus slip down very easily — sometimes a little too easily, like they’re elastically escaping their tank. You think you’ve got them in focus, and then they’re gone. Not literally, of course; you can head back to the top of the page and comb them again, looking for the […]

On Frogs

Link to audio/podcast version of this post. This poem was first published in issue 19 of Gramarye, the Journal of the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction. ‘Gramarye’ is an archaic word meaning mystical or magical learning, related to the word ‘grimoire’, which refers to a spellbook. Frogs in folklore seem to […]

End of a Fantasy: The Panic Behind Literary Reactionism

“Where’s evil? It’s that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night “[Contemporary] fiction is about society,” says Clare Pollard, in a short essay asking how writers can respond to the present moment. I wouldn’t have thought this […]