John Fuller’s Pebble and I
, one of the PBS Summer Recommendations this year, was reviewed by Charles Bainbridge in the Guardian
on 2nd October. He praises the "subtlety and variety of [its] descriptive details" along with the "precise and playful imagery". Compared to previous collections in the last 5 years, Bainbridges finds Pebble and I
to be "in many ways more meditative and occasional, happy to respond to places and events as and when they occur".
M Wynn Thomas writing in the Guardian
on 16th October, takes as his subject Geoffrey Hill’s
newly published collection Oraclau/Oracles
which he describes as "a sequence of 144 poems based on one of the ingenious metric patterns of Hill’s fellow metaphysical, John Donne". He goes on to explain; "In this sequence, Hill walks his own crumbling mental dyke, anxiously beating the bounds of his modern identity. As its bilingual title indicates, Oraclau/Oracles
is a complex meditation on his wanly bicultural inheritance; an internal dialogue between the dominantly English and recessively Welsh elements in [his] genetic make-up". He finishes by describing the collection as "a troubling and challenging volume of “devices”, a remarkable emblem book for our times by one of the most considerable, and accordingly formidable, poets of our age".
Reviewing John Ashbery: Collected Poems, 1956-1987
ed by Mark Ford in the Telegraph
on 19th October, Jeremy Noel-Tod describes Ashbery’s poetic talent as "the gift that keeps on giving". He states that "Ashbery’s inventiveness has produced some of the great, fun poems of post-war America …. but his affluent language is shadowed everywhere by an awareness of reality “dry as poverty”". He describes the collection as "modern poetry at its most romantic, ironic and democratic".
Lauded for its "scope and adventurousness", Patricia Craig champions The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry
, edited by Patrick Crotty, as "a magnificent anthology". Writing in the Independent
on 8th October, Craig explains that "all the formidable poetic virtues, elegance, precision, intricacy, integrity, find an outlet here." Whilst she does mention the occasional minor error, be that a wrong attribution or a mistranslation, she ultimately finds it to be "so rich in its inclusions, so superbly organised, showing such breadth of scholarship and (in general) felicity of judgement that complaint soon dies away, and applause for a great achievement prevails".
Finally, Paul Muldoon’s Maggot
, one of the PBS Winter Recommendations, receives a glowing review from Adam Newey in the Guardian
on 30th October. He describes the experience of reading Maggot as "like an intellectual fairground ride, with daring swoops and hairpin turns of thought. But, though you cling on for dear life, the car never actually flies off the tracks. It’s an exhilarating experience". Paul Muldoon’s own take on his collection features in the PBS Winter Bulletin, due out on the 10th November.