Blog

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 378

Friday 19 February 2021, 12:52

Maggie McIver’s Dream

We are pure dead brilliant,
East End fandabidosi style
with neon teeth stretching above
the Gallowgate.
You see us before you’ve even arrived
with our star struck mary doll smile.
And once you’ve ventured inside,
it’s full steam ahead to a time gone by.
Our black and red linoleum stair
shout slogans, but the sinners are unaware
as the 1960’s flamingo pink loos have seen
their fair share of stylish shoes and trendy hairdos.
Once inside the womb venue, where
we’ve nurtured lust and romance, given birth
to love, stars and musical chance.
Vaulted diamond ceiling, sparkling world,
sprung dance floor stickier than the air
thick with the stench of crisps, Irn Bru and cheap beer.
Iconic, the original Glasgow sin,
where every real star wants to be in.
No old gallus grand dame, we are Queen.
Remember everyone knows our name,
written in neon above the door
 Barrowland,
we have been so much more
than a just ballroom since 1934.
We are Maggie McIver’s Dream. 

Catherine Conoboy-Reid

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map

DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: My Darling from the Lions

Friday 19 February 2021, 12:07

... Rachel Long is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, and although my electronic copy was without a cover that shows a young woman of colour, themes of race, religion, gender, sexuality and family relationships are evident from the outset.

Arranged in three sections, ‘Open’, ‘A Lineage of Wigs’ and ‘Dolls’, the collection uses a wide range of forms and structures, all in free verse. The first section begins with a deceptively simple quintet of the same name:

This morning he told me
I sleep with my mouth open
and my hands in my hair.
I say, What, like screaming?
He says, No, like abandon.

Providing us with an intimate glimpse into the speaker’s private life, Long evokes the twisted texture of emotions that come with a relationship behind closed doors. Here, she has opened that door to us with dialogue.... 

This is an excerpt of a review by Thomasin Collins of Rachel Long's Forward Prize winning My Darling from the LionsFor more information on Long at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: Shine, Darling

Friday 19 February 2021, 11:52

One may be surprised to discover that Shine, Darling is Ella Frears’ debut poetry collection. Frears presents an unapologetic front through her straightforward style, favouring lyric poetry as her medium. There is a raw intimacy to perform these experiences, whether it be a near-abduction, a suicide when she was in college, or having sex on bins in Cornwall, Frears will bring the reader into the heart of it all. As she says,

otherwise
It doesn’t work; otherwise none of this works.

(‘Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity’)

 

This is an excerpt of a review by Amy Turnbull of Ella Frear's Shine, DarlingFor more information on Frears at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: The Air Year

Friday 19 February 2021, 11:45

The Air Year is Caroline Bird’s sixth collection with Carcanet. Her most recent and highly successful, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award. Bird, who published her first collection at the age of 15, displays an astonishing talent and a unique ‘voice’, and is known for her engaging and witty performance.

The opening poem, ‘Mid-Air’, has an atmosphere of lightness, eroticism and optimism, but this buoyancy is quickly dispelled in the poems that follow. Bird uses thrillingly surreal narratives, as in ‘Nancy and the Torpedo’, where strong sexual imagery meets a Babes-in-the-Woods fairy-tale atmosphere. This is Bird at her most idiosyncratic style; juxtaposing surreal encounters with interior emotions that speak to the reader in new and startling ways....

This is an excerpt of a review by Jenny Gorrod of Caroline Bird's Forward Prize winning, The Air YearFor more information on Bird at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

DURA's StAnza 2021 reviews: The Saints Are Coming

Friday 19 February 2021, 11:35

... it’s with delight that I have in my hands, Andy Jackson’s third published collection of poetry, The Saints Are Coming, his first with Blue Diode Press. This title treats readers to a shining hagiography of saints for this anthropocenic age who, with due diligence, watch over the livingness of poets, radiographers, lottery winners, thieves, radicals, embroiderers, haemorrhoid sufferers, gamblers et al. 

Observe as prosecutors
rearrange denials into damnations,
transmute honesty into culpability […]

(‘The Catechism of St. Catherine of Alexandria Patron saint of jurors‘)

These saintly characters cast in malleable forms, sometimes enacting the ludic virtue of a Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in ‘watching as I die my thousand/deaths, still clinging to my shtick’ (‘The Martyrdom of St Lawrence Patron saint of comedians‘) while at other times the gravitas of a rebel drama, are resolute in their capture of the tones and cadences of their patronage.... 

This is an excerpt of a review on the DURA website by William Hume of Andy Jackson's The Saints Are ComingFor more information on Jackson at StAnza21, please click HERE. To read the whole review, go to the DURA webpage.  

Categories: News

Poetry Map of Scotland: poem no. 377

Wednesday 17 February 2021, 13:01

Port Seton Snake

The children brought pebbles first,
painted on a rainy day
when lockdown seemed unreal.
Over time it became routine.
Family members all brought stones -
Hello! For Grandma Bet, save our NHS!
Poppies and words of hope, anger.
Distress.
And the line grew, until a pretty snake
wound along the street and the first
ones placed, months before, began
to flake and fade.
Hell  For G et,.  save  u S
Poppies washed away.
What scares me? They are merely
stones along a road.
Children's daubed rainbows
a winding shrine to the dead.

Sadie Maskery

View our full map of Scotland in Poems as it grows »

For instructions on how to submit your own poems, click here

All poems from our Poetry Map of Scotland  are subject to copyright and should not be reproduced otherwise without the poet's permission.

Categories: Poetry Map
Subscribe to StAnza Poetry Festival Blog