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This review is taken from PN Review 268, Volume 49 Number 2, November - December 2022.

Cover of Corrigenda for Costafine Town
Ian SeedJake Morris-Campbell, Corrigenda for Costafine Town (Blue Diode) £10;
Joanna Nissel, Guerrilla Brightenings (Against the Grain) £6;
Tristan Moss, The Cold War (Lapwing) £10;
Chaucer Cameron, In an Ideal World I’d Not Be Murdered (Against the Grain) £6;
M Stasiak, Enchant / Extinguish (Shearsman) £6.50.

Five First Collections

Jake Morris-Campbell’s first full-length collection, Corrigenda for Costafine Town, navigates between the working-class world he grew up in and the culturally middle-class one he now inhabits. With an insightful, wry lyricism, Morris-Campbell investigates the history and geography of North-East landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes, how they tie in with his own family, and the ways in which the usage of different types of language creates different perspectives and realities. The question of identity is rendered more complex by the fact that the region itself has been irreparably altered over the past two decades or so by the forces of globalisation, which in turn has split families politically, noticeably over attitudes towards Europe, though deeper bonds can prevail:
I could tell by the way he clasped the cup
how much he really needed a fag
that I should focus on the sea
not mention politics or family
or the politics of families
so that as long as nothing was said
we could concentrate solely
the way men do
on the scrunch of sand
between his children’s toes
(‘Grapnel’)
Within this context, the poet, as the Homeric ‘wanderer returned’, sometimes feels like an imposter, yet through his writing seeks to discover an authentic vision of the self rooted, if not always in place and time, then in the changing realities of the world we live in.

Joanna Nissel’s chapbook, Guerrilla Brightenings, is a navigation of the selves of past and present. Taken together the poems represent ...


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