Snapshot reviews: ‘Soon Every House Will Have One’ & ‘Imagined Sons’

soon-every-houseWhat I love about Holly Hopkins’ prize-winning pamphlet, ‘Soon Every House Will Have One’, is the unexpected twists and turns it takes. Holly, currently reading for an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, was a winner in the Poetry Business Competition, judged by Carol Ann Duffy and the poems she submitted are like a beckoning finger. They say, come here, come in, find out more and then they whisk you off into new and refreshing waters, they douse and surprise; they are clever and unusual. Her sideways glances at relationships, politics, family and history are packed with angles and shades of light and dark. My favourite poem? Hard to pick one, but I think it’s ‘Stratigraphy’ for the complete starkness, surprise and sadness of its last line. Her book is available from her website here:








imagined_sons72_0Carrie Etter’s collection is heartbreaking but it also affirms. Interlaced between prose poems in which she imagines versions of the son a birthmother gave up when she was seventeen, are haunting catechisms which express the birthmother’s rage, guilt, regret and courage at this decision. But never is she mawkish or self-pitying, rather the poems are raw and honest and incredibly beautiful. They celebrate life. They celebrate a life. My favourite poem? Again, it’s hard to pick one, but I think it’s ‘A Birthmother’s Catechism’ on page 31: ‘Why haven’t you looked for him?’ The book is available from Seren’s website here:


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