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Em Strang

Em Strang

Em Strang is a poet in her final year of a PhD in Creative Writing (Ecopoetry) at Glasgow University. She has published work in numerous anthologies and journals including Dark Mountain, Causeway, New Writing Scotland, and The Herald. She is currently working on a book of poems and illustrations with folk artist, Rima Staines. She lives in SW Scotland.

Posted by on in Reader Reviews

Angela McSeveney, Still Bristling, Mariscat Press, £5

Angela McSeveney's latest pamphlet Still Bristling (2012) covers a lot of ground, from litter-strewn rural roads to exotic tree frogs in toilets, ‘looking cute in a pool of pee.' The collection has a part humorous, part matter-of-fact feel to it, and what I admire most is its honesty and lack of pretension. The poems are more personal anecdote than lyrical discourse, so if you like poetry with a more complex agenda, chances are you'll be disappointed. Her language is conversational and prosaic, accessible and inclusive, as though the poems are small glasses from which everyone is welcome to drink. At times, however, I found this aspect of the language tricky: there's always the risk that the poem flattens out and what you're left with is prose with line-breaks or, as in ‘Scottish Climate Bill Demo', shopping-list poetry: