Playing with ‘The Rules’: Brian Docherty considers an anthology whose poems could be viewed as case studies in ekphrasis – but also as much more than that. Wordstrokes: The Poetry of Art ed. Deborah Gaye Avalanche books, 2015 ISBN 978 -1- 874392-26-2 £10.95 This book’s brightly coloured cover image by André Derain offers an attractive […]
The Welsh National Opera version of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, established in the 70s by director Joachim Herz, on the basis of meticulous research, and now directed by Sarah Crisp, delivers pure emotion with devastating directness.
James Roderick Burns notes that Michael Crowley has taken some risks in order to negotiate a way through conflicting themes and historical viewpoints in his new collection
Either ultra-topical or else historic with contemporary resonance are the smart choices of subject matter for any playwright seeking to thrill an audience. The building of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest structure, falls somewhere in between, given that it opened in 2010 and the maltreatment and suicides of its construction workers are old news.
Kate Bingham praises Joan Michelson’s eye for the details of life in a retirement home.
Le Corbusier has mostly gone down in history as a visionary Swiss urban planner. For the thousands forcibly evicted from District Six in Cape Town, he has a more sinister resonance as the proponent of “the surgical method” – as mentioned in the notorious apartheid-era Group Areas Act – of sweeping away what he saw as chaos and disorder.
London has become home to more members of the global super-rich than any other city in the world. Londoners might catch occasional glimpses of their presence when a super yacht moors by HMS Belfast on the Thames or another planning dispute over a basement excavation breaks out in the news.
STILL SHINING: Brian Docherty reflects on the wealth of experience which adds extra polish to Katherine Gallagher’s poetry
A New Life for the Riding-Crop-Handle Maker; Sarah Lawson reminds us of a popular account of an immigrant’s experience which has – perhaps undeservedly – fallen out of the public eye
Even in times when rehash is more common than originality, the risk with a revival of Burt Bacharach’s late 1960s musical Promises, Promises, in turn based on Billy Wilder’s 1960 film The Apartment, is that it feels doubly derivative.
I assumed I would be bored witless but I wasn’t for one second. Quite early on we were reassured it wasn’t just a Punch and Judy show.
A POET’S CALENDAR: Brian Docherty reviews Peter Daniels’ latest collection