Recent Reading December 2020

Elliptical Movements

Nostoc, Daragh Breen, Shearsman, 2020, ISBN 9781848616912, £9.95

Fruit, Matthew Geden , SurVision Books, 2020, ISBN 978-1-912963-16-4, €6.99

The Coming-Down Time, Robert Selby, Shoestring Press, 2020, ISBN: 978-1-912524-51-8, £10.00

neutral milky halo, Maria Sledmere, Guillemot Press, 2020, ISBN 978-1-913749-09-5, £8.00

Reviewing Daragh Breen’s What the Wolf Hearda few years ago, I was struck by the Gothic tone of the work and the not altogether benign influence of Ted Hughes. In Nostoc, the poems are, if anything, more firmly Gothic than in the earlier collection, but the Hughesian world of mythic archetypes has been left behind. In fact, these new poems move from the world of myth to the world of folklore, and Breen’s distinctive voice emerges in all its Gothic clarity.

I should take a moment to clarify what I mean when I call this work Gothic. Breen introduces elements of horror not just to…

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