Category Archives: Poetry Reviews

Review: To Sweeten Bitter by Raymond Antrobus

To Sweeten Bitter by Raymond Antrobus
Published by Outspoken Press, London, 2017
49pp. £8.


To Sweeten Bitter, Raymond Antrobus’ third pamphlet, is a deeply moving and important collection. Within these twenty-one poems, Antrobus deftly interweaves personal grief and the individual struggle to reclaim a sense of identity after his father’s death with postcolonial grief and the continued struggle for a sense of identity among persons of dual heritage living in a postcolonial world.

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My Latest Literary Crush or Notes on Reading Bhanu Kapil

Bhanu Kapil's The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers

Bhanu Kapil’s The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers

I discovered Bhanu Kapil in January this year, by chance, when reading a Laura Mullen interview in which she discussed experimental poetry and hybrid forms of literature (it is an excellent interview, by the by). I Googled Kapil and found extracts of her work on (these are the exact links: here and here) and let’s just say – it was love at first read.

The vivid sumptuousness of Kapil’s language, the unconventional daring of both content and style dazzled my senses, left me dizzy for more. I went and purchased all of her books, and I’ve been slowly working my way through them – very slowly, in fact, because these are the kinds of books that you simultaneously want to devour and never finish; the kinds of books in which each sentence could be unpacked for hours or days and still be powerfully rewarding.

Recently I stumbled upon notes I had written while reading Bhanu’s first novel, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001), and I thought that I would share them here.

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