Review: Reckless Paper Birds

I needed the God of my childhood to be useful so I folded him, shaped his pages into wings. Cranes at first, then more challenging roosters, swallows, owls. I pinched edges, split clauses to make word plumage. I fractured Leviticus into pleats. […] I bought Reckless Paper Birds, John McCullough’s third collection, after opening it…

Best of: August

I took a bit of a reading holiday in August and spent a large part of the month re-reading old favourites, also just reading a bit less in general. Even with a longer list to pick from though, I’m pretty sure I still would have selected these three. This is not the first Patrick Gale…

Review: Dad, Remember You Are Dead

The hunt is on: through ashes, photographs and lists, through bone and prayer, through violations – from ‘Utterance’ Jacqueline Saphra’s previous collection All My Mad Mothers, was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2017, and she returns with a stunning companion collection in which it is her father who takes centre stage. The poems…

Reading Poetry – Where to Begin?

…bewildered were the dead going about their days and nights in the dark putting their feet down carefully and finding themselves floating… – Alice Oswald, ‘Body’ …A light song of light swells up in the dark times, in wolf time and knife time, in knuckle and blood times; it hums a small tune in the…

Best of: July

This was a shorter reading month as I extended Pride reading up until July 5th, but I still managed to add three books to my ‘almost certainly on my shortlist for the year’ pile. I also just started writing about the first book (it was The Night Watch, by Sarah Waters) and realised that it…

Best of: June – Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and in London the Pride festival took place on July 6, so this post covers my reading up to that point. I read only books with LGBTQ+ authors or themes during the month, and although I did pick a top three, I thought I’d also share the rest of what I…

Best of: May

So many good books this month. It was hard to choose… But then I always say that – time to just accept it perhaps?! Best Queer Read: Tin Man, by Sarah Winman. I loved this. I was telling everybody about it, it was going to be in my top reads of the year. In my…

Best of: March

March was a more usual reading month for me, although I didn’t read as diversely as usual – lots of novels. The more I read, the harder it is to pick the three top books, but I like that. It makes me think more about what I’ve read, and forces me to articulate what it…

Best of: February

I didn’t read as much as usual in February, but what I did read was mostly excellent so it didn’t matter that I didn’t have many on the list to choose from! I’m about halfway through several books at the moment, so I feel like I already have a good start on March. Best in…