Recent reviews and features

by flambardblog

If you’re in London and like books then I’d recommend the inspiring Writing Britain exhibition at the British Library. There’s even a Flambard book on display – the beautiful Night Train, written by Sean O’Brien and beautifully drawn by North East artist Birtley Aris.

Writing in Poetry London (Summer 2012), Martyn Crucefix notes the ‘considerable ambition and architectonic design‘ in Sheree Mack’s Family Album, which had me reaching for my dictionary. He continues that ‘quoting art historian Martha Langford on the distinction between saga, genealogy and family album, Mack writes a hybrid form that leans imaginative genealogical explorations against more personal reminiscences.’ Family Album, Sheree’s first collection, was published last year. Sheree is the current writer in residence at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle.

Envoi have reviewed Mary Robinson’s The Art of Gardening. Gail Ashton would have liked greater editing, but she praises the poems, writing that ‘Robinson is at her best when she formally constrains her images as in, possibly my favourite, the leisurely, almost disjoint, freeze-framed couplets of ‘Reunion’ or the central ‘Poetics of Space’ sequence through which she describes ‘the art of gardening’.’ (I’m assuming that should read ‘disjointed’.) Mary will be reading with fellow Flambard poet Rebecca Goss on Thursday, 25 October at the Chester Literature Festival.

There’s also been a lot of attention for the Selected Poems of John Fowles, including a fascinating interview with the book’s editor Adam Thorpe here and a news story in the Guardian. We were out of stock for a while but the book is available to order again from Inpress, as well as the usual places.

DJ Taylor also mentioned the Fowles book of poems and its publisher in his column in the Independent on Sunday: ‘ The book I most enjoyed reading last week was Adam Thorpe’s edition of the selected poems of John Fowles. The enjoyment was somewhat compromised by news that the book will be the last produced by its sponsors, the Flambard Press. Over the 22 years of its existence, operating from an address near Hexham, Flambard has grown into one of the finest small publishers in the UK. Its novelists have ornamented Booker longlists, while its reissue programme includes the very wonderful Sid Chaplin’s Tyneside classic, The Day of the Sardine.’