In the 1930s, as he fled Nazi Germany, Einstein passed through the Belgian port of Ostend, en route to the United States, and met the painter James Ensor. He asked him what he painted, to which Ensor replied “nothing”.
Richie McCaffery admires the honesty and masterly simplicity of poems by James Aitchison.
John Forth praises a poetry anthology which rises to the challenge of saying something original about birds
Merryn Williams is impressed by Chris Considine’s poetry of self-sufficiency on a small island
Graham Hardie finds that the poems of Robert Wells offer some pleasing insights.
Michael Loveday gets to grips with the uncertainties and instabilities underlying a new collection from Patricia Debney
Roger Caldwell observes that James Norcliffe makes poetry look deceptively easy
Anyone seeking to be reminded of how we used to work not so very long ago should take the 10-minute tram journey from Birmingham’s newly revamped Grand Central Station to the city’s Jewellery Quarter, where every other shop is a jeweller and the close-knit atmosphere of a neighbourhood once closed to the wider city lingers on.
Peter Ulric Kennedy critiques Derrick Buttress’ idiosyncratic poems
Akram Khan’s new vision of Giselle for English National Ballet is a brave political reinterpretation of the nineteenth century classic, set to Vincenzo Lamagana’s modern score. Classical ballet purists may find that both deviate too far from the original but there is much to admire.
James Roderick Burns looks for vital signs in an anthology of medical poems
John Lucas is entertained by Keith Hutson’s collection of poems about music hall – and by the performers who appear in it