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Review – Heritage Aesthetics by Anthony Anaxagorou

Our New Damage What are the contours of heritage when it ruptures through colonialism and diaspora? This dense, multifaceted question is the organising principle of Anthony Anaxagorou’s new collection of poetry, Heritage Aesthetics – primarily concerned with the underexamined intersections of British-Cypriot identity, colonial history, and masculinity. Geography and cartography yield structural anxieties: littoral Cypriot…

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Review – From From by Monica Youn

Atom by Atom… From From, Monica Youn’s fourth book of poems, is a striking departure from her first three books. Instead of addressing race obliquely and occasionally, From From confronts it full-on, from beginning to end. Interviewed in Bomb magazine, Youn explained, ‘I always felt I had permission to talk about race, but I wanted…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 20

Me, Ulyana and Energy by Iryna Sazhynska, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj The day before yesterday, when there was a storm, my father said: ‘Do you hear that? It’s missiles again!’ It was just thunder, which we are doomed to associate for the remainder of our lives with the expectation of death. Last…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 19

The Poetry of Displacement by Darya Zorina, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj Forced displacement is a theme which has not been picked up by Ukrainian poetry. This is the literary genre, however, which is usually the swiftest and most sensitive to respond to all that happens in the country and to every mass…

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More love poems? Really?

‘Love’ must be one of the most overused words in the English language. So much ‘love poetry’ has been written over the course of human experience, that it might be reasonable to ask – why bother adding to the literature of love poetry? Is there anything more to say? I think there’s lots more to…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 18

To Speak by Oksana Osmolovska, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj I am ashamed to admit it but I was ‘above politics’ and even proud of it for a long time. I was of course for the Maidan and a little later I was against the annexation of Crimea and Donetsk along with Luhansk….

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Fortnightly Feedback with Leah Umansky

It’s always a good idea to get another set of eyes on something.  Sometimes, we need new ways to look at the world. The ordinary is often extraordinary; the extraordinary is sometimes ordinary. This is nothing new.  The same is true for the world of a poem and a poem is really just its own…

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Review – Music for the Dead and Resurrected by Valzhyna Mort

Music for the Dead and Resurrected, which won the International Griffin Prize for Poetry in 2021, is Mort’s third collection. The poems rove and hover over an icy, war-ravaged, politically-damaged Minsk (or ‘the hero-city of Minsk’ as the speaker in ‘Self-Portrait with the Palace of the Republic’ was forced to refer to it as in…

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Notes Hidden Under a Cherry Tree, An Obituary

Volodymyr Vakulenko – (1972-2022) The Ukrainian author Volodymyr Vakulenko was such an exuberant personality that it’s hard for his readers to believe that he is dead. The photographs, with his distinctive forelock swept to one side, and despite his fifty years, an aura of perpetual youthfulness, make it seem as if he is still sitting…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 16

The Dead Flowers of Forgetting by Iya Kiva, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj I am often asked how I accepted the decision to leave Donetsk. Yes, I know that in Ukrainian the verb has to be ‘approved’, but there was neither approval nor acceptance of the choice I made. I left my home…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 15

Fall in Love, Dark Eyed Maidens’[1] by Natalka Fursa, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj. The prelude of this war for me was the 27 June 2009, when my daughter brought her fiancé round so we could get to know each other. It was the same day that Poltava celebrated the three hundredth anniversary…

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January Sale!

We’re offering 30% off some of our fantastic Spring Term courses. To brighten the beginning of 2023, we’re offering a 30% discount on selected Spring Term courses. Just use the coupon code JANSALE to access this limited-time offer.  Check out the full list of discounted courses below; we can’t wait to begin writing with you this…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 14

The ‘Fraternal’ War[1] by Lana Perlulainen, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj. This war wasn’t a surprise for me. I happened to be living with my husband and son in Novosibirsk when the August Putsch of 1991 occurred, followed by the collapse of the unbreakable Union and Ukraine’s Declaration of Independence. Suddenly, Large-State chauvinism…

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Review – Morning Lit: Portals After Alia by Omar Sabbagh

Omar Sabbagh’s Morning Lit: Portals After Alia offers us an extended meditation on early fatherhood, exploring what the poet describes as the ‘transformative distance’ travelled across the ‘entries’ of a relationship with his newborn daughter. Often lyrical, the poems here are also often very down-to-earth, giving us the reality of the early months of fatherhood…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 13

After the Amstor[1] by Alisa Havrylchenko, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj. There will be no war, the two nuclear powers will only pressure each other. That’s what everyone I knew thought right Until February 24. I was preparing for the presentation of my new book, even though the news that airlines were stopping…

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The Proust Questionnaire

TAMAR YOSELOFF Bio: A transplanted Londoner, poet, lecturer, urban walker, frustrated non-painter and practicer of tsundoku What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m still working on it. What is your idea of perfect happiness? It isn’t so much an idea as a state – sometimes elements come together – place, weather, company – but…

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Review – Wilder by Jemma Borg

Searching for Wild Connections ‘Poems are records of true risks […] taken by the soul of the speaker,’ writes Jorie Graham[1], but what if a poem speaks with a voice that is not always human, plant or animal, but something broader and wider in scope. How do we recognise that soul? What are the connections…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 12

When Spring is Stolen by Varel Lozovyi, translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj When spring is stolen from you right on its threshold.When you are waiting for her[1], like a bride, like a long-awaited release from prison, like God’s salvation from the clutches of cold, dank grey winter.And they steal it from you suddenly,…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 11

THE LONG DECOLONIZATION; how, despite the destruction, Ukraine is moving towards the future by Anatoliy Dnistrovyi, translated from the Ukrainian and annotated by Stephen Komarnyckyj THE LONG DECOLONIZATIONhow, despite the destruction, Ukraine is moving towards the future There are three eras in recent Ukrainian history when culture and society have flourished significantly: the twenties and…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 10

The Language of Poetry and Losses by Oksana Kutsenko. Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj During wartime the language that people use changes, you can’t argue with that, it’s self-evident. However, turning page after page of the Ukrainian calendar, beginning from February 24, 2022, many details are revealed that are important for the Word…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 9

It Was As If There Was No Life And No Poetry Before 24 February 2022 by Andrii Kovalenko, Ukrainian poet, novelist, journalist (Kyiv). Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj Six months since the beginning of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine and our latest war of liberation, life is divided into what came before and after….

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Review – As She Appears by Shelley Wong, Garden Physic by Sylvia Legris 

Shelley Wong’s debut, As She Appears, is a deeply self-aware, courageous, and lyrical collection that weaves together history, humour, and ecological metaphor to explore Wong’s experiences as a queer fourth-generation Chinese American. The tone is conversational but not plain, and the collection’s strength lies not in any attempt on Wong’s part to deploy complex forms…

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Review – Manorism by Yomi Ṣode and Refractive Africa by Will Alexander

Dazzling Refractions of Light and Dark Art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon writes in his biography of Caravaggio: ‘He had always been an outsider, a troublemaker, a difficult and dangerous man. Yet his art was so compelling, so original, so unforgettable, that people were simply transfixed by it… The fact that he was obliged to invent himself…

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INSPIRATION TO INVOICING

A CPD series for professional & aspiring poets Becoming a freelance poet – whether full- or part-time, alongside employed work – requires a range of business and practical skills, not to mention the actual practice of writing and publishing. These sessions aim to creatively and reflectively unpack these skills, inviting participants to consider their own…

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Stanzas for Ukraine – 8

A World That Is Still Watching… by Anna Malihon. Translated from the Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj ‘Everything will start from a small country, from one that no one would have thought of’ she said ‘there will be great changes in the world, at a high price, along with blood and death. However, it will be…

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