Thursday, October 19, 2006

Poetry Review Review by Nigel McLoughlin

'North by North East covers forty-nine poets in 377 pages. If you want to know what's going on right now in the poetry scene in the North East, this is the book to buy. Like all good anthologies, it offers the reader a chance to discover poets they hadn't previously read. Among those who impressed me are Kevin Cadwallender and Valerie Laws. Cadwallender's poems speak from the inner city and the voice has a knowing humour which lifts the poems above their bleak surroundings. Laws's images are vivid and the language rattles and sparks. One gets the feelings she chooses her subjects carefuly, seeking the intense and the pregnant within them and offering the reader something of the 'real' experience they contain. Of course the anthology also offers generous selections of work by Harrison, Stevenson, Allnutt, Herbert, O'Brien et al ; as well as the excellent Brendan Cleary, S.J. Litherland and Katrina Porteous.'

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