Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Planet Review: Better Houses

Oh I've just read a lovely joint review of Brood by my dear friend Rhian Edwards and Better Houses by me me me in the new issue of Planet. Thanks Elizabeth Edwards. Some snippets for you...

On Better Houses:

"The collection begins on a riotous note in 'Build the Table First', invoking fire, broken glass, flamingos and fake blood, in worlds made, destroyed and remade through outnumbered 'house moves'. But (as the fake blood may suggest) nothing comes to serious harm here, ultimately looking towards physical and emotional forms of steadiness: 'nothing is broken between us / for long'. It's a fitting introduction to the collection as a whole, which contemplates big life shifts throughout but is ultimately a gentle and conciliatory work. [...] 'Carcharodon Carcharias, Cariad', reels gorgeously from a restaurant to the seashore to the night sky [...] Finding (the way) home is of course a key theme for this collection full of thresholds. [...] The collection ends with an anxious doorstep pause – 'You wait for your self / to open up, to let you in with your secrets' ('Inside You') – that suggests an unfinished journey through the experiences and signs that tell us we're home." 

On Brood:

"From The Parliament of Fowls to Crow, birds are familiar ground for poetry but Edwards's dark and witty Brood finds new points of entry. Suggesting maternity, and a mood, from the title onwards, Brood bears witness to things unravelling – a relationship, a pregnancy, a myth, a familiar rhyme. [...] transporting us the undefined chaos of an unreal world crowded with characters (human and avian) and voices (spoken and sung), and their increasingly punishing demands."

I'm just a few sales away from a reprint, make it so  and also please buy and support Planet or log in to your account to read more x

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

In Praise of 'West'...

'He felt again the dizzying weight of all the mystery of the earth and everything in it and beyond it. He felt the resurgence of his curiosity and his yearning, and at the same time felt more and more afraid that he would never find what he'd come for, that the monsters, after all, might not be here.'
Insomnia and the railway-line night work beyond my garret window means I have just re-read and line-by-line dissected West by Carys Davies. Already a huge fan of her short stories, I can't recommend this enough – the best debut I've read so far this summer. A beguiling, page-turning American fable seeped in desire and devotion, devastating grief, and the search for wonder beyond life's comfort zone all written with a deft economy and a simmering, shimmering 'coal and salt' humour.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Literary Death Match at Green Man Festival 2018

I'm looking forward to taking part in Literary Death Match at Green Man Festival on Sat 18 August (4pm) this year, come along!

Literary Death Match, now in over 60 cities worldwide, was called "the most entertaining reading series ever" by the LA Times. The live show brings together four authors to read their most electric writing for seven minutes or less before a panel of three all-star judges. After each pair of readers, the judges take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary — in the categories of literary merit, performance and intangibles — then select their favorite to advance to the finals. The two finalists then compete in a vaguely literary competition to determine who takes home the Literary Death Match crown.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Review: Jonathan Edwards on Better Houses for Ink Sweat & Tears

This review of Better Houses has made my holiday, thanks Jonathan!

‘Susie Wild’s Better Houses announces a new […] and exciting poetic voice. […] The author’s balance between opening the door for the reader, and then hitting them with the poem’s highly original approach to language and a slightly slant way of looking at the world, make these poems highly entertaining and rewarding. 


‘like all the best collections, it leaves the reader wanting more. The marriage of clarity and accessibility with the highly distinctive voice which is evident in these poems, excitingly and genuinely all this author’s own, make this an accomplished and auspicious debut, and make this poet’s future work something to greatly look forward to.’

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Bad Ideas\Chemicals Shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize 2018

Proud Editor Moment:

Bad Ideas\Chemicals Shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize 2018

Congratulations to Lloyd Markham, Bad Ideas\Chemicals is one of six debut novels by writers under 35 shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize 2018, announced today.
The Betty Trask Prize and Awards are presented for a first novel by a writer under 35. ​Past winners include Zadie Smith, David Szalay, Hari Kunzru and Sarah Waters. Total prize and award fund is £26,250. The Authors’ Awards, presented by Stephen Fry, will take place at RIBA on the evening of Thursday 19 July.
The 2018 shortlist:
  • Mussolini’s Island by Sarah Day (Tinder Press)
  • All the Good Things by Clare Fisher (Viking)
  • Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone (Granta)
  • The City Always Wins by Omar Robert Hamilton (Faber and Faber)
  • Bad Ideas/Chemicals by Lloyd Markham (Parthian)
  • The Reactive by Masanda Ntshanga (Jacaranda)
The Trask shortlist is always very strong, very original, and this year is no different – six books reflecting the excellent quality and diversity of new writers today. We have Clare Fisher's touching, tough and incisive view of what it's like to be a child in care, robbed of choices; Eli Goldstone's fable-like tale that spirits the reader from London to the deep forests of Latvia; Lloyd Markham's death stare at society, sharp as a syringe and gloriously weird; Masande Ntshanga depiction of the gritty reality of Cape Town in 2003 through the smoky lens of the young and high; Omar Robert Hamilton's tough, bleak and relentless work – a challenging, heart-wrenching and in many ways, necessary novel; while Sarah Day presents a powerful but little-known historical narrative that needed to be told.
Judges Ben Brooks, Joanne Harris and Samantha Shannon.