A rich feast from Natalie Diaz

I remember celebrating my fiftieth birthday in the Dordogne, and ordering all my favourite things at dinner: a starter of foie gras, a main course of magret de canard with pommes dauphinoises, cheese of course and then some suitable dessert concoction that would have involved sugar, eggs and cream. Washed down, of course, with some

Washing a Heart with Bhanu Kapil

I came to Bhanu Kapil’s collection How to Wash a Heart after it had won the T.S. Eliot Prize. I had not seen her reading it, but have now done my homework. I have watched her talk about her work in the brief video done prior to the night of the award. I have watched

Glyn Maxwell – “How the hell are you”

When I embarked on the idea of doing brief reviews of the collections shortlisted for this year’s T.S.Eliot prize, I was not prepared for either the variety I would encounter or the pleasure it has given me. Coming to Glyn Maxwell after Will Harris and Wayne Holloway-Smith is a little like moving from a student

Wayne Holloway-Smith – anger and pain

At first sight, the first stanza of Philip Larkin’s This Be The Verse could be the prologue to Wayne Holloway-Smith’s collection Love Minus Love, shortlisted for the 2020 T. S. Eliot Prize: “They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. They fill you with the faults they

Will Harris: “Rendang”

Will Harris gives no explanation of the title at the outset of his book, but in the first poem, which is part introduction, part dedication, he embarks on etymology: “In West Sumatra they call rendang randang. Neither shares a root with rending…” This is disconcerting on two levels. First, because if the reader is understandably