Reviews

Shoals of Starlings – Litter Review – Steve Spence

‘Andrew Martin’s debut collection is impressive in every way. These bird-themed poems have a distinct personality: they are minimalist, lyrical and precise, veering between representation and abstraction, filled with beautiful phrases and succinct encapsulations. Yet they are fractured, shattered beings, hinting at symmetry but displaying wounds and vulnerability in a manner which reminds me of John Clare. They are a wonderful blend of the modern and the traditional and as a commentary on the natural world have a descriptive quality which is also questioning, allusive, puzzling and full of unexpected turns. They are also very personal.’ 

If you would like to read the full review featured in Litter Magazine, which also includes example poems from the collection, here is the link – ‘Shoals of Starlings – Review by Steve Spence’

Solar Satellites – Litter Review – Steve Spence

‘This chapbook from an emerging talent follows on shortly after Andrew Martin’s debut collection Shoals of Starlings, published recently by Waterhare Press. Martin, a poet whose visual artwork is closely allied to his poetry has taken the subject of the solar system as his next project and the seventeen poems here represent his minimalist take on a ‘big subject’. Scientific knowledge, wonder and philosophical speculation merge here in these brief verses which also combine a lyrical melancholy with a playful approach to language. Metaphor and simile are allied to humour and a sort of ‘human projection’ which largely avoids mythical/classical reference in favour of a pared-down intensity which is refreshingly different.’ 

If you would like to read the full review in Litter Magazine, which also includes example poems from the collection, here is the link – ‘Solar Satellites – Review by Steve Spence’

Shoals of Starlings and Solar Satellites – Stride Review – Alan Munton

‘The first of these two books prints fifty-seven poems about birds; the second, a chapbook, has seventeen about planets in the solar system. The first one is not, however, about Nature, just as the second is not about Space. Shoals of Starlings is distinctively illustrated: opposite every poem is a striking image, each a piece of semi-abstract computer art that the author – also the artist – describes in a note as ‘fractured fractals, shattered symmetries.’ He applies those words to the poems as well, and on every page-opening language and image work together. Altogether, the book is a pleasure to explore’

If you would like to read the full review in Stride Magazine, which also includes example poems from the collection, here is the link – Review by Alan Munton’

 

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