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Lefroy, Chandler, Calcutt, Kingsley – 3 poetry pamphlets reviewed

Life. It’s a funny old thing isn’t it? It just keeps on and you just keep on (if you’re lucky). There aren’t any end of year reports once you leave school. Or are there?

I got into publishing by mistake – I had an idea for Shropshire Butterflies – a poetic and artistic guide to the butterflies of Shropshire. And I discovered, in the doing, that it was what I was born for…

I’ve been groping in the dark ever since – recognising poetry that I love very easily; loving the collaboration with poets I respect, and then one day a parcel arrives in the post and it contains the February 2015 issue of envoi magazine…

I have met Jan Fortune once, at the Independent Book Fair at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham in 2014.

Envoi magazine is a beautifully produced book – I am so enjoying reading the poetry within its covers. If you haven’t seen it – I urge you to buy a copy.. and you will be hooked !

And there.. on the REVIEW PAGES…. is my end of (two) year(s) report. I am so excited for my poets, myself and for Fair Acre Press :- that someone else sees exactly what I have been groping for, and not just anyone – Jan Fortune!

– I excitedly share some extracts from her review below ! Nadia x


front cover for mending the ordinary for website

 Jan Fortune reviewing in envoi magazine February 2015

Humanity is something that surfaces again and again in Liz Lefroy’s Mending the Ordinary. A beautifully produced pamphlet from a discerning new press, Fair Acre, Lefroy’s language is Larkinesque in its simplicity; finely balanced and lucid phrases that are at once lyrical and full of light touch. The subject matter of these poems is so ‘ordinary’ that a less skilful poet would struggle to say anything of note, but Lefroy’s quality of observation, her slant-wise perspective and her ability to lift the surface off ordinary moments with no showiness, but deftly and with grace, turn the quotidian into the epiphanic with seeming ease.

The Grandpa Years cover JPEG for website

Jan Fortune reviewing in February 2015 issue of envoi magazine

In The Grandpa Years Keith Chandler continues the Fair Acre Press style of unfussy language with something to say. A sequence of thirteen poems on the theme of becoming a grandfather and tracing an arc from ultrasound to getting ready to school, this is a whimsical and unashamedly intimate pamphlet from the first line. But there are serious questions running through this pleasing pamphlet, such as why it is that we become besotted with toddlers.. It is these questions and the recognition of mortality that elevates this sequence from a private tribute to a life-event into a lyrical consideration of change and time.

Nadia Kingsley, David Calcutt read Bridging the Unpath

Jan Fortune reviewing in February 2015 issue of envoi magazine

Through the Woods is Fair Acre’s standout publication. A collaborative collection in large format illustrated pamphlet, the two poetry sequences …are given added depth and resonance by Peter Tinkler’s darly mythic opening sequence of exquisitely produced illustrations. … David Calcutt’s circular path takes us on a journey not only through landscape, from the familiar to the increasingly strange as we look beneath the surface, but also in time, bringing a sense of place memory to bear in this accomplished five-part sequence….Pared down, lyrical and elegant, Calcutt’s sequence segues into Nadia Kingsley’s ‘Bridging the Unpath’, with its distinctive timbre and form…. Moving from what’s on the wing, to pond, to night-sky, Kingsley takes us under the skin of place, delivering visceral, precise impressions that constantly shift and allude so that whilst one place is under the microscope we never lose a sense of the wider world… The attention to every detail and to every sound is sustained throughout this accomplished, innovative poem, that picks up the concerns of the first sequence from a wholly different perspective so that the result is not mere echo, but a work that adds to and deepens it. This is a deeply satisfying, layered work that will bear rereading.

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