Reviews: West South North, North South East (3)

A nice, perceptive review by Charles Lauder, of my poetry collection West South North, North South East, published in Under The Radar magazine.

‘The continual motion of [Acton (The Solstice)] epitomizes the journey of Bennett’s work. Wisely, the exploration doesn’t limit itself to London nor to the walled city of Carcassone that finishes the book’s first section, but deepens into Bennett’s navigation through memory as well as landscape, with a compass that seemingly flits between the cardinal points of the title. Sometimes the link is olfactory, as in the evocative triptych ‘Three Scent Bottles’; other times it is finding tea in ‘Chai’: “led / through back streets and alleys, / putting her faith in the adventure”. In the ironically titled ‘The Nostalgia Industry’, Bennett finds himself “stranded in the nineteen eighties”; although interrogated by his mother over how “two blue-grey slugs” ended up in his sister’s nose, Bennett’s more concerned with how the memory will be “recaptured”. He asks, “Why fall in love with places, times? / Why expect them to always remain” (‘Spitalfields’). He then answers himself in ‘Dry Dock’: “I’d like to place this memory / deep in your mind, / a seed pushed into earth.”’

Read more on the Nine Arches Press blog

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