Guerrilla Brightenings by Joanna Nissel (Against the Grain Press)

Tears in the Fence

In this deft and lyrical debut pamphlet, Joanna Nissel explores the beginning of 2020 as seen from Brighton. Throughout these poems, Nissel dances with grief and the sea, as well as the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the unexpected and intense moments of colour: both in the literal or physical sense, and the psychological sense.

Nissel makes eclectic and dynamic choices regarding form. The pamphlet opens with a poem fluid and beautiful with its frequently recurring refrain: ‘every morningthe beach’.The prose poem form also emerges throughout the pamphlet, as in ‘Now More Than Ever’ and ‘Meantime’, in which Nissel tackles found poetry, using social media posts recorded between the 4thand 5thApril 2020. These posts then comprise prose poems, with each post separated by virgules, allowing the posts to come thick and fast as they did when they flashed across our screens, and to make surprising…

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