Hannah Lowe’s new poetry chapbook is a powerful blend of information and imagination, says Thomas Ovans
A few years ago, I remember watching a TV drama about Hitler that surprised me. It was the true story of Hans Litten, the brilliant young German lawyer who subpoenaed Hitler in 1931, cross-examined him in a trial of four Nazi stormtroopers and humiliated him.
Peter Giles re-tells a little-known story from the second world war…
What exactly is the essence of Belgium? Far harder to pin down than French chic or English sang-froid, the nation’s uneasy mix of Walloon and Flemish, surreal and down-to-earth, all miraculously held together, is perfectly encapsulated by the Atomium – a giant, futuristic structure on the northern edge of Brussels.
Many have heard of Auschwitz and Dachau but few know about Terezin close to Prague which housed an elite of European Jewish artists, musicians and writers. It was used by the Nazis as a holding station for Jews en route to the gas chambers.
This is an unusually thrilling show that is also an exciting history lesson. Few of us in the West know that the hundreds of islands that make up Okinawa were controlled by the kingdom of Ryukyu before they were absorbed into Japan in 1879.
London is a catacomb of forgotten stories and communities, none more hidden and invisible, it often seems, than the Chinese. Here since the early 19th century, their diaspora is spread throughout the UK, London’s main contingent habitually being recognised as Soho’s Chinatown.
This is a book that everyone should read. How often does one get to say that – and not least when the title might suggest that the author merely means to expand our thin acquaintance with a sixty year old conflict, brief, remote, and wasn’t it all American?
D A Prince admires the careful construction of John Greening‘s new collection To the War Poets and is pleased by the way it trusts the reader to look deeper into the subject-matter.
Like all great cities, London has its illicit underbelly. Throughout history, it has played host to a parade of villains. From Jonathan Wild to Jack the Ripper, from Adam Worth to the Kray Twins, the misdeeds of these characters are woven through the tapestry of the city’s history.
1914 and the Great War. Given the centenary is upon us, it is everywhere. And perhaps rightly so although heaven knows, there is enough mayhem still going on in the world for us to wonder whether anything has been learnt from past history.
Chris Beckett is enthusiastic about poetry’s potential for exploring and explaining family history and cultural roots – and finds examples in recent collections by Nancy Mattson and Anne Ryland