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Then by Linda Black

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"Linda Black’s sparkling poems charm and beguile – and then, quite often, twist a small knife. Under a rubric of ‘little involuntary musings’, she makes a miscellany of different forms: prose poems, grid poems, extended aphorisms with a sting in the tail, fantastical flash-fiction. They toy with nostalgia, trailing threads of real memories into imaginary word-gardens bristling with tricks. Words ‘collude / allude’, slip over each other, with many near-misses. They lean into one another, threaten connection, narrowly miss and ricochet in another direction. Allusions are so nearly (neatly-delightfully) pinned down, are always on the verge of escaping. Daintiness jostles disgust as the poems joke, jibe, curse, cast spells – about food, fripperies, old china, seemingly new-to-you trifles that really aren’t trifling at all. Then tugs and teases – at possible pasts, possible consequences, half-glimpsed narratives – all assembled into glittering bricolage." Anna Reckin

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