Sunday, 27 September 2020

PUNK AND POETRY PODCAST

For those of you who have been living under a rock, I started a podcast about a year ago. Yes, I have jumped on the podcast bandwagon because every other cunt has a podcast already, and I had FOMO. It is called the Paper and Ink Literary Zine Punk and Poetry Podcast. Yes, I am aware of what a long ass title that is. Anyway, the latest episode (Episode 004) has just been uploaded. It features an interview with poet Dave Cullern, music from Liverpool based hardcore anarcho punk band Falaun and poetry from Hosho McCreesh's unabridged audiobook of A Deep and Gorgeous Thirst. You should be able to find it where ever you find your podcasts, but if not, here is a hyperlink: http://anchor.fm/punkandpoetrypodcast


Below is a write up of the episode lifted from Hosho McCreesh's website (which you should check out here). I must also take this moment to make a public apology to Mr McCreesh as, during the episode, I ruminated that he would have a "silky, smooth Texas voice". Of course, Hosh is from New Mexico and not Texas. However I have no doubt to either the silkiness or smoothness of his voice.



Wednesday, 8 April 2020

PANDEMIC POEMS

I don't normally post my poetry up on this blog, but I am making an exception. Before the coronavirus pandemic started I had not written a poem since January. When I sat down to write in March, it was the obvious thing at the front of my mind so what came out were several poems about COVID-19. I wrote them more as a way to get my creative juices flowing and had not planned to publish or submit them anywhere, therefore I am dumping them here on this blog. I don't plan to write any more poems on the subject, and they are unlikely to ever appear anywhere else. Enjoy, or don't. Whatever...




BOOK REVIEW: SHOOTING GALLERY VULTURES BY SCOTT WOZNIAK



"As Americans, we are living in a nation without poetry. As punk rockers, we are living in a scene without poetry. Wozniak has rediscovered this primal form and dragged it through the muck to create a loser's triumph" - Blag Dahlia (singer of punk band Dwarves)

Published at the back end of 2019 by Alien Buddha Press, this graphic illustrated poetry collection is unlike any other you will have come across before. Wozniak's debut collection Crumbling Utopian Pipedream (Moran Press, 2017) was excellent - a tour de force in stripped back, concise, pull-no-punches poetry. Wozniak has an undeniable way with words - he can cut through the fat and get straight to the meat of an issue. You may not always like what he has to say, but you can't deny the finesse with which he tells his tales. Shooting Gallery Vultures steps it up to another level and brings graphic artist Andrew Nutini along for the ride. 

Nutini's artwork is a joy to behold and I would have happily flicked through a book of his work alone, but the stark imagery paired with Wozniak's cutting words are a perfect fit. I am not going to lie to you, much of the content in these poems is bleak as fuck - an up close and personal look at addiction and desperation - and given the current climate (this review being written at the height of a global pandemic) you may find the unrelenting nihilism a challenge, but trust me, the journey is worth it. The existence of this book is a celebration of survival, a celebration of a man's will to live, to keep fighting, and to never throw in the towel.

Get a copy of this fantastic book from Amazon

Saturday, 16 November 2019

BOOK REVIEWS: HANG IN THERE AND ORPHAN ROAD



TWO REVIEWS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! Two new full length poetry collections, both published by UnCollected Press (therawartreview.com). The first, Hang In There by British bard John D Robinson and Orphan Road by US punk Tohm Bakelas.

!!!NEPOTISM KLAXON!!! Before I get into the crux of this review I would just like to point out that I am good friends with both of these poets, so take my words with a pinch of salt if you will. However, I would certainly not bother to review any books that I did not deem "worthy" of praise. I wouldn't just peddle any old shit because I was buddies with the author (no matter how many times I review a Dave Matthes book). 

With the housekeeping out of the way, let's dig in to the poetry. I always find it difficult to review poetry because it is pretty fucking subjective. It is different to prose - prose is either well written or it is not. Poetry can really be whatever the fuck the poet wants it to be, so who the fuck am I to judge it? I may be a poet and a zine editor, but I have no formal poetry "education" other than reading poetry that I fucking like. With that said, I really fucking like the poetry in both of these books...

John D Robinson and Tohm Bakelas, although almost thirty years apart in age, and living on different continents, are kindred spirits. They come from the same school of poetry - they both tell it how they see it, without sugar coating or glossing over embarrassing or personal details. Both shoot from the hip and bash out short, snappy verse that kicks you straight in the gut. You won't find any fourteen page, flowery, metaphorical snore-fests in either of these books, that is not their style. You won't have to dig beneath the surface to find hidden meaning or be left scratching your head trying to work out if you really understood what you just read or not. And that is no criticism, that is why I love reading their work. Call me simple, or stupid, or both, but I came to poetry via punk rock and if these books were albums they would be by The Clash and The Ramones, UK Subs and Black Flag.


You can buy both of these books and others by UnCollected Press from therawartreview.com