Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Compulsive Reader Newsletter for July is out

Happy July.  The latest issue of Compulsive Reader News has now gone out.  This issue contains 10 fresh reviews including Hazel Smith’s Word Migrants, Researching Creating Writing by Jan Webb, Local Time: a memoir of cities, friendships and the writing life by Inez Baranay, Cure by Jo Marchant and lots of others.  There are also two music reviews, two interviews, and the usual welter of literary news on prizes like the Sunday Times Literary Award, the Bailey’s prize for Women’s Fiction, the Forward Prize for Poetry, as well as new giveaways.  If you didn’t receive your copy, you can pick one up in the archive.  If you aren’t a subscriber, you can do so here (for free, of course):
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Poetry Monday: Hazel Smith’s Word Migrants

I’ve just started reading Hazel Smith’s Word Migrants and am already hooked by the richness of the poetry’s presentation: performative modernity coupled with an almost painful intimacy:
Before you disappeared my aloneness was the vibrations of a coastline, I could feel the pitches of the waves beneath my feet. Now the soles of my feet sink into the sand.  And it sticks. (“The Disappeared”)

Smith's The Writing Experiment is one of the best writing manuals available for teaching writers the techniques of experimentation (I use it regularly), and it’s fascinating to see some of those principles in play in Smith’s own poetry as she explores topical issues include the refugee crisis, climate change, political and social abuses, aging, grief, and the nature of privilege and power.

The poems I’ve read so far maintain a lovely delicacy, drawing the reader into worlds which are often dystopian (all too real at times), but also playful, experimental, enlivened by sound and an awareness of the space on the page, exploring the nature of language, semantics, referentiality, and genre, without ever losing their immediacy, contextual relevancy, or coherence.  Here’s another little sample:
Every conversation is a gentle misfiring
   An abacus points beyond method or counting
      An exchange derails, eyes averted, glancing (“Encounter”)
I’ll be reading more deeply over the next week or so and will follow with a full review at Compulsive Reader.  In the meantime, you can found out more about Hazel Smith here:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Compulsive Reader Newsletter for June is out

The Compulsive Reader newsletter has now gone out to our 10,000+ subscribers. Along with the usual compendium of reviews, there are 3 new giveaways, a big literary news roundup that includes the Miles Franklin shortlist, the Ondaatje prize, The Man Booker International Prize and plenty more. If you haven’t got your copy yet (check the spam folder and if you find it, please whitelist me!), you can grab a copy here: Compulsive Reader Archive

Also don’t forget to drop by and “like”our new Compulsive Reader Facebook Page. We have a few special treats coming up soon.

If you aren’t a subscriber, you can sign up here:

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