Monday, July 28, 2008


by Mark Goodwin
(pub. Shearsman Books)

I'm currently reviewing this for Staple, and enjoying it. Readers of Litter will have seen Goodwin's work there; as an editor, it struck me as distinctive, and as something which didn't fit into any current trend. The book includes a homage to Peter Redgrove and an endorsement by Penelope Shuttle, and there are certainly echoes of both those poets, as well as resemblances to the crafted verse of someone like Richard Cadell:

My crown's leaves curl
Sea's screams. The chisel
of my blood bit
out whole season's to rid
mere millimetres
of unwanted medium...

As befits this diction, some poems have elements of the Anglo-saxon riddle, while others are contemporary pastoral, incorporating social comment into close observation of the natural/semi-urban world. It's an impressive debut from a poet who I'm sure has more up his sleeve.

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