Thursday, May 24, 2007

Three Poetry Chapbooks

Andrew Shields and I traded chapbooks a few weeks ago. His one comes in an engraved cardboard box along with a book of photographs by Swiss photographer, Claudio Moser.

Of Andrew’s poems, the first one, Aftermath, blew me away, but the rest kept up the standard. It's a bi-lingual edition, in both English and German, so those (unlike me) who speak both languages get double the treat. I don’t think any of the poems in the book are online, but I did find four others in Softblow, which should give you an idea of how good this is. Well worth getting hold of.

I read Payday Loans, a chapbook by Jee Leong Koh, a collection of 30 sonnets. I’d read several of the poems before, but having them all between two covers revealed both the unity between them and their diversity. It’s very strong formal poetry, with energy, quick intelligence, and emotional intensity. Not to be missed.

Finally, for something different, it’s worth picking up Pick’n’Mix by Martin Parker. Martin writes very sharp and witty light verse, which usually contains dark undercurrents. He’s especially good on human relationships and the short distance between love and disaster.

3 comments:

James Midgley said...

I didn't know Andrew had a chapbook. I'll have to see about getting a hold of that.

I really enjoyed Jee's -- unsurprisingly, really.

Andrew Shields said...

Thanks for the lovely comments, Rob. I really appreciate it.

Jee Leong Koh said...

Hi Rob,
thanks for the kind words on the book. I'm glad you enjoyed it.