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The Cult of the Noble Amateur

The Cult of the Noble Amateur

Rebecca Watts, PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January – February 2018

What good is a flourishing poetry market, if what we read in poetry books renders us more confused, less appreciative of nuance, less able to engage with ideas, more indignant about the things that annoy us, and more resentful of others who appear to be different from us? The ability to draw a crowd, attract an audience or assemble a mob does not itself render a thing intrinsically good: witness Donald Trump. Like the new president, the new poets are products of a cult of personality, which demands from its heroes only that they be ‘honest’ and ‘accessible’, where honesty is defined as the constant expression of what one feels, and accessibility means the complete rejection of complexity, subtlety, eloquence and the aspiration to do anything well.

More at PN Review 239

Pete Hay Reviews Rachael Mead and Amanda Joy

Pete Hay Reviews Rachael Mead and Amanda Joy

                                           … below the hard packed earth
                              the dead slowly get on with their dark work
                              of sifting themselves back
                              into the green world.

I read those lines and straightened my back – I’d just experienced one of those rare ‘I wish I’d written that’ moments. This is a fine small collection, then, one that does the chapbook format proud – tightly themed, resonant and democratically accessible.

………………………….

Read Pete Hay’s review at Cordite, 16th January 2018