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
Blurred Lines/Women of Twilight (The Shed, National Theatre; The White Bear Theatre, Kennington) – reviews by Carole Woddis.
‘Blurred Lines’ is a coolly sophisticated but disturbing addition to the feminist debate with a plethora of statistics interwoven into a series of fragmented scenes about the way women are represented in society. ‘Women of Twilight’, Sylvia Rayman’s 1951/2 drama, focuses on the unhappy fate of unmarried mothers in a way we might find hard to completely comprehend today.
D A Prince considers how well Sheila Hillier has risen to the challenges of following up a successful first collection
Norbert Hirschhorn finds a strong and distinctive voice and character running through the new collection by Jackie Wills.
Merryn Williams finds that John Mole’s new pamphlet convincingly captures the experience of being seriously ill in hospital
Rosemary Norman describes how she collaborates with video-maker Stuart Pound to make films from her own poems.
Thomas Ovans tries to keep up with Mark Gerchick’s comprehensive analysis of the airline business which explains why and how the glamour of flying has now been reduced as much as the legroom in economy class.
In the character of Richard – the weak 14th century English king, swayed by favourites who allowed himself to be deposed – Shakespeare wrote some of his most poetic and fascinating psychological insights into kingship and collapse of fortunes. He’s a `problem’ character alright.
In Brussels, art nouveau found its most complete expression in the architecture of Victor Horta. Now the Brussels’ Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts has devoted a huge new “Fin-de-Siecle” section, a museum in itself, to the artistic context in which he thrived.
John Greening discusses recent collections by two eminent Irish poets
Vaughan Rapatahana seeks, in relatively few words, to give a flavour of Alan Corkish’s monumental and challenging 25,000-word semi-autobiographical poem