FAITH, a collection of poems by Martin Stannard...
|Cover illustration by Charlotte O'Donnell
Faith can be read as a collection of interrelated poems (they were all written by the same
person) or as a kind of accidental narrative: it is, after all, a collection of poems written at various times and at various
levels in the multi-storey car park of understanding. With fairy tale charm and lyricism,
with satire and a rather tasty sense of the absurd, Faith mocks itself yet
at the same time refuses to give up the search for the possibility of renewal in a life fast running out of possibilities.
Stannard works from a tradition that goes back through the New York poets to the spirit of early twentieth-century French
poets such as Max Jacob and Pierre Reverdy. This is a poetry which is not afraid of
sadness or loss, and which in its ultimate seriousness refers back to the Romantics. But it also has the capacity to make
us laugh out loud along a journey we are the richer for having made.
'Like his great precursor Kenneth Koch, Martin Stannard has a restless
heart and a teeming brain, itchy with the suspicion that something true and beautiful just left the house…'
- Mark Halliday
‘Stannard’s casual, he’s conversational, he’s clever, and he’s a little
complicated as well. He sees. He feels. He keeps it real. As far as I’m concerned, that last is the only absolutely
crucial value. But keeping it real is like keeping it casual. Try it. It isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, most
of which takes place away from the poem.’
- John Bloomberg-Rissman, Litter
Martin Stannard’s previous collections of poetry include Poems on Various Subjects
(Shoestring Press, 2004), Difficulties & Exultations (Smith/Doorstop,
2001) and Writing Down The Days: New & Selected Poems (Stride,
2001). After ten highly amusing years working as a telephone operator, in 2005 he went to China to teach English to university
students. In 2007 he returned to the UK to be the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Nottingham Trent University. Then,
in 2008, he again returned to China, which is a long way away.
Out-of-print. ISBN: 978-0-905127-14-9
Click here to see a review of Faith on Litter.
Winter Hands by Annie Clarkson.
Hands crosses boundaries between poetry and prose, inner and outer landscapes, intimacy and being alone. In a series
of portraits, this collection explores the vulnerabilities and distress of people who seem to be outside the worlds they survive
in. Their relationships are fractured and ambivalent,
their voices complex. Annie Clarkson’s rich, evocative images delve into the multi-layered emotions of her characters.
As readers, we are invited to identify with these individuals and the situations they create and find themselves in. At the
same time, we can delight in Clarkson’s lyrical and energetic use of language.
Clarkson’s versets – shapes where poetry and prose meet, declare a truce and mingle – generate so much heat
and tenderness in equal turns; they read like reports from a twilit, overlooked world, writ in vinegar on chip paper that
will stay news.’
Clarkson composes her poetry from tenderness,
sexuality and courage, exploring taboo places in the human psyche. That she does so and does so fearlessly is a testament
to her compassion and understanding of the everyday fears and uncertainties we experience as humans.’
Annie Clarkson is a poet and fiction writer living in Manchester. Winter Hands is her first collection.
Ex Catalogue by Rupert M Loydell
Somewhere between abstract and
naturalistic, the prose poems in Ex Catalogue hint at a world we can never quite grasp. Disarming yet knowing,
these interlinked miniatures imply a guiding hand that has resolve if not guile. The language used is carefully balanced and
finely wrought. There is poise and limpidity throughout; a direct and informal tone at work. It is a compelling mixture, rich
with atmosphere and resonance, alive with possibility and expectation.
In the second half of the book, Small Paintings
offers fragments of experience and expectation. There is a sense of some 'perfect way' being just out of reach and
a feeling of both sadness and delight in the seeking of it. Perhaps paradise lies in the search.
is also striking about Loydell's poems is that they incorporate a wide range of influences and references drawn from music,
art, and literature, and do so without holding back the movement of the writing. The reader doesn't have to struggle to
decipher the meaning in the poems and that fact, mixed with the good humour often on show, makes them engaging…there's always a feeling
that the poet's early days of wonder and
excitement have been preserved.'
'Striking comments on our disturbed early twenty-first century solipsism, and sometimes a scary echoing
- Poetry Review
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