Thursday, 18 January 2018
Monday, 15 January 2018
A CATALOGUE OF FAILURE
IF THE DIVINE IS IN YOU,
THEN THE DIVINE IS IN ALL OF US
BY SALLY JENKINSON
This poetry zine by Sally Jenkinson is a real beauty! I saw Sally perform a headline set at a poetry slam last year and fell in love with her poetry there and then. I was lucky enough that she agreed to trade a copy of PAPER AND INK for a copy of her book Boys (Burning Eye Books, 2016) and I was delighted when I saw that she was making her own zine. This contains a set of poems that were mainly written when Sally was on a trip to the USA and they're full of wonderful insights and intimate intricacies that make it a joy to read. Sally is fast becoming one of my favourite poets and I can't wait to read her next zine (if there should be another). Visit her website right here for details of how to purchase a copy.
RAZUR CUTS IV
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Monday, 27 November 2017
Thursday, 23 November 2017
I don't normally review anything that I am in (I have a poem in this), but this Charles Bukowski tribute chapbook is well worth mentioning. Edited by Katie Doherty (Patchouli Press) and featuring a stellar line up of writers, each with their own unique take on the infamous poet. Whatever your thoughts about Bukowski the man, there is no denying his literary merit. It goes to show that some 23 years after his death, he is still held in such high regard. Some of his opinions and attitudes may have been problematic but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I would not have started writing poetry, or created Paper and Ink Literary Zine, had I not discovered his words. Sunny Side Down is a fine collection of work and a must have for any fan of Buk. Order one for yourself from Patchouli Press right here.
LOOKING DOWN BOTH BARRELS BY ADRIAN MANNING AND JOHN D ROBINSON
"If you're gonna
write a poem
that will burn
words that will
the paper they are
that read them
but the message
- Adrian Manning, 'And Fahrenheit 451 Evens The Score'
Thursday, 16 November 2017
Return to the Madlands is the third and final book in prolific wordsmith Dave Matthes' Mire Man Trilogy. The story picks up with everybody's favourite misanthropic, whisky drinking, son of a bitch, Arlo Smith, a decade or thereabouts after he drove off into the sunset at the end of Paradise City (the second book in the trilogy). Now in his fifties/sixties (his exact age is never stated), Arlo has been living a relatively normal life (by his standards). Shacked up, playing happy families with Beth Jensen - the former teacher he had a relationship with in high school, and the woman who sprung him from his self imposed exile in Moriarty's Institute.
After ten years of normality, Beth has now passed away and Arlo discovers that she had been hiding letters from him. Many letters, sent to him over a number of years, by his former lover, Constance (the love interest from the first book of the trilogy, Bar Nights). Having almost given up on life after Beth's passing and feeling the effects of Father Time on his weary bones, he decides to roll the dice once last time, and hits the road in search of his long lost love. What follows is a madcap adventure across the country which leads Arlo to a destination he did not expect, nor could ever have imagined in his wildest dreams.
Return to the Madlands is the longest book of the trilogy, clocking in at just over 300 pages, and departs from the flash back/memory recall motif of Paradise City. It is much more in keeping, stylistically, with the first and shortest book of the trilogy, Bar Nights. Madlands plays out like a series of vignettes from the open road, documenting all of the crazy, weird situations that Arlo finds himself in during his trip, with all of the strange people he encounters, and the trouble that he inevitably lands in the middle of. At the end of my review of Paradise City I said that I would not be holding my breath for a happy ending for Arlo, and after reading the heartbreaking epilogue after the conclusion of the story, I was certainly right not to! However, heartbreaking epilogue aside, the end was not all together bad for Arlo, in fact I would say that Madlands was very much the redemption of Arlo Smith. I imagine we have not seen the last of this character, as there are plenty of gaps in the story that Matthes could explore, but if we never see Arlo again, then this was a very fitting end for a very interesting character.
READ MY REVIEW OF BOOK I AND BOOK II AND SUPPORT INDIE AUTHOR DAVE MATTHES BY BUYING HIS BOOKS ON AMAZON UK OR AMAZON US AND FOLLOW NEWS OF HIS FUTURE WORKS ON HIS WESBITE.
Thursday, 9 November 2017
Leftover Pieces / Leftover Press is a very interesting small press run by Billy Bridwell III out of Arizona. The three publications pictured above, 'Without The Words There's No Song', 'Faces', and 'Clouds and Trees & You and Me' are the press' first three publications, all authored by Billy himself.
'Without Words There's No Song' is the most comprehensive, and certainly the most personal of the three publications. A documentation of Billy's time playing in punk and rock bands throughout the 90s and 00s, and a collection of lyrics that he wrote during that time; "To me, the words always meant more than the music ever could. This is an attempt to put it in one place, taken from the context of song." The lyrics, which are "part song, part prose, part story", make for a very interesting and revealing read. A journey through Billy's eyes and a celebration of "twenty-plus years of loneliness and angst, panic and worry, excitement and unity, to true love and hope".
'Faces' is a collection of digitally illustrated... faces. Fifty two different faces to be exact. Drawn using a combination of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Inkscape and Indesign, and each accompanied by a (seemingly) random motivational phrase, which Billy says are "simply a reminder to always stay true to yourself. Be aware of your surroundings and how you fit into them. This world can eat you alive, give yourself a fighting chance". I really enjoyed this zine and was very impressed with the illustrations, and diversity and the detail captured in each drawing.
'Clouds and Trees & You and Me' features a beautiful long form poem about the nature of life, and similar to 'Faces', encourages us to be true to ourselves no matter what. The poem is also beautifully illustrated, each page featuring yet more remarkable digital illustration, closely mimicking woodcut art. This was a quick read, a but a lovely little zine and highly recommended.
Leftover Press have recently released a fourth publication of Billy's short stories, which I am yet to get my hands on, but hope to soon. Please support this fantastic press by purchasing some of these zines for yourself by clicking the image below.