Zayneb Allak, Keine Angst (New Walk Editions, 2017)
Matt Black, Spoon Rebellion (smith/doorstop, 2017)
Kathryn Gray, Flowers (Rack Press, 2017)
Chris Kinsey, Muddy Fox (Rack Press, 2017)
Julie Mellor, Out of the Weather (smith/doorstop, 2017)
It is good to see the continuing appearance of poetry pamphlets in our digital age. For one thing, they can be read and pondered at will; how many of us mull over a web page? How many of us return to that page? Pamphlets are also excellent introductions to a new poet’s work and provide a window into what an established poet may currently be working on. A full collection is a major statement and perhaps the poet wishes not to make that statement quite yet, but would rather test the waters with a pamphlet. Concomitant to this is that pamphlets should be taken seriously, should receive reviews and not be treated as merely provisional (even if perhaps they turn out to be) or ephemeral. The five titles here are all the result of serious intent, if happily different in their various approaches.
Many of us, especially those who appeared in the magazine, will have mourned the closure of New Walk last year, but its editors will remain active as pamphlet publishers. Zayneb Allak’s début appearance with Keine Angst is one of New Walk’s first titles with this attractive, twenty-six-page offering. There is manifest personal warm in these poems and a sympathy for what the poet sees and experiences. Despite the quirky German title there ...
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