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December 2015

LYRIC MEDIUMS: JOANNA NEWSOM’S DIVERS – By Becky Varley-Winter. A review of Joanna Newsom’s latest album Divers (Drag City, 2015), the academic publication Visions of Joanna Newsom (edited by Brad Buchanan, Roan Press, 2010) and the multifarious poetry, from Dickinson to Keats and T.S. Eliot, in Newsom’s lyrics.

BERLINER UNWILLE: Nicolas Hausdorf and Alexander Goller’s Super Structural Berlin – By Sam Wiseman. This piece, analyses the Superstructural Tourist Guide to Berlin for the Visitor and the New Resident (Zero Books, 2015) and is part of our thread Life in the 21st Century City

November 2015

A TINY BLOW: Kathleen Jamie reads from The Bonniest Companie in Edinburgh – By Naomi Richards. A review of Jamie’s latest collection, the product of the task to write a poem a week for a year after the IndyRef, and the launch event at Out of the Blue.

A POLITICAL TOUR OF ISTANBUL: The Book of Istanbul, edited by Jim Hinks and Gül Turner – By Defne Çizakça. On short stories about and political unrest in the Turkish capital. The piece is part of our thread Life in the 21st Century City.

October 2015

LIKE THIEVES IN BROAD DAYLIGHT: Mathias Enard’s Street of Thieves, translated by Charlotte Mandell – By Andrew Rubens. On the refugee crisis and the “tastelessness of satire.”

IN THE NINETIES, WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG: Stuart David’s In the All-Night Cafe – By R.A. Davis. On Belle and Sebastian’s formative year. The piece is part of our thread Life in the 21st Century City.

FROM GLASGOW TO YELL: ‘Oo An Feddirs’ by Christie Williamson – By Stewart Sanderson. An in-depth review of Williamson’s Shetlandic offering.

September 2015

AXIOM, APERTURE, ADAPT: A. J. CARRUTHERS’ ‘AXIS BOOK 1: AREAL’ – By Calum Gardner. A review of A. J. Carruthers Axis Book 1: Areal (Vagabond Press, 2014).

August 2015

THE INSISTENT QUESTION: James Wood’s The Nearest Thing to Life – By Andy Wimbush. A review of critic Wood’s memoirist analysis of the way in which fiction can stand in for the loss of God, with continued attention to the religious roots of Western literary culture and the quasi-religious aspects of both reading and writing literature.

THE BARK OF THE LANGUAGE FOREST: Peter Manson’s English in Mallarmé – by Becky Varley-Winter. A review of Scottish poet Peter Manson’s versions and versioning of Mallarmé’s French poems and his findings of English words contained within them. The resulting translations are playful foreignisations which create a new half-language, frustrated and stuttering.

THE HIGHEST EXPRESSION OF THE DIVINE: Anne Cuneo’s Tregian’s Ground, translated by Louise Rogers Lalaurie and Roland Glasser – by S.J.L.Constantine. A review of the late Cuneo’s novel about High Renaissance musician Francis Tregian in its first English translation by Lalaurie and Glasser.

July 2015

ENGELS AMONGST THE HIPSTERS: DW Gibson’s “The Edge Becomes the Center: An Oral History of Gentrification in the Twenty-First Century” – by Mark West. A review of a book that through the issue of housing charts the creeping neoliberalisation of life since the 1960s. The piece is part of our thread Life in the 21st Century City.

WMDs among the Heather: Radical Nature Poetry finds its Voice – by Laurie Donaldson. A review of Gerry Loose’s Fault Line, published by Vagabond Voices.

June 2015

RETURN TO THE 1950S: Rachel Cooke’s Her Brilliant Career and the Novels of Mary Renault and Barbara Pym – by Clare Walker Gore. A discussion of the misconception that the 1950s were a supposedly “forgotten era” for feminism. Walker Gore reviews Rachel Cooke’s collection of “forgotten heroines” of the decade and proves her analyses through Mary Renault’s The Charioteer (1953) and Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women (1952), both republished by Virago Press in 2013.

WRITING THE SELF: The Letterbooks of John Evelyn (eds. Douglas D. C. Chambers and David Galbraith) and the Art of Communication – by Patrick J. Murray. On the similiarities between the diaries of the Early Modern diarist John Evelyn and the way we communicate and form a sense of self in the 21st century.

SMALL-TOWN SOUTH AFRICA: Colette Victor’s What to Do With Lobsters in a Place Like Klippiesfontein – by Lynnda Wardle. A review essay on the portrayal of small-town life in post-apartheid South Africa.

May 2015

IN RECOVERY: Guy Mankowski’s How I Left The National Grid – by Laura Waddell.

April 2015

“New Uses for Old Ideas”: Graham Fulton’s Photographing Ghosts – by Stephen Watt. A wide-ranging review of the ever-prolific Graham Fulton’s latest collection.

A Last Look Round: Sebastian Barker’s The Land of Gold – by Ian Hunter. A review of Barker’s posthumously published affecting collection.

March 2015

CARLOS GAMERRO, BARILOCHE AND ITS “SCHIZOPHRENIC MOOD” – by Rebecca DeWald. A travelogue on Gamerro’s three novels in English to-date, An Open Secret (Pushkin Press, 2011), The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012), and The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón (And Other Stories, 2015), all translated by Ian Barnett, and on the hidden and obvious history of the northern Patagonian town of San Carlos de Bariloche. This review is part of the Argentine Travelogue thread.

February 2015

“The Sound of Silence”: Ana Blandiana’s My Native Land A4 – a review of “Ana Blandiana’s beautiful and entrancing collection” – by Matt MacDonald.

“What’s Unintelligible Isn’t Silent”: Zoë Skoulding’s The Museum of Disappearing Sounds – a review of contemporary poetry with an emphasis on sound – by Calum Gardner.

“The Lines We Write”: Middleton and Dekker’s Co-Written Pamphlets – by Eilidh Kane. A review comparing two recent compendiums on Thomas Middleton, Thomas Middleton in Context (edited by Suzanne Gossett, Cambridge University Press, 2011) and The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton (edited by Gary Taylor and Trish Thomas Henley, Oxford University Press, 2012). The review discusses in particular the oft-neglected collaborations between Middleton and Thomas Dekker.

January 2015

Reframing Hope and Doubt: Roddy Lumsden’s Not All Honey – a review of Lumsden’s 2014 collection – by Laurie Donaldson.

Hope Deferred: 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa in 1994: The Bloody Miracle by Meg Rickards and Bert Haitsma – by Lynnda Wardle.

Very Long Road to Freedom? South Africa at the Africa in Motion Film Festival 2014 (Glasgow and Edinburgh) – by Lynnda Wardle.