Poetry Pamphlet Reviews & Features

Run by HappenStance Press

Vertical Prose, Peter S SmithA6 cover. Background is probably paving stones, a big cracked one occupying about two thirds of the jacket and placed bottom right. Then others across the side and top, with joins. The title is in large white lower case letters on the top slice of paving. The author's name runs vertically up the line of the paving stone maybe a third in from the left hand margin. There is some kind of white pain marking on the paving too, a sort of cross -- straight up and straight across -- between heading and name. This is some of the 'Urban Art' referred to on the back jacket.

Sampson Low Ltd, 2016   £2.00 + £1.20 P&P

Horizontal commentary on vertical insubordination

This little pamphlet takes a quote from Clive James (about ‘the kind of poetry that is just prose arranged vertically’) and runs with it.

My ‘attempts to write about things’ are ‘just prose arranged vertically’ says the author on the back jacket.

The photographs, however, which face every text page, show “Urban Poetry”— numbers and symbols on paving stones. I don’t know what they are, but they look like clues, and they make me think about direction. Vertical, horizontal directions/instructions. Ways of doing things. The ways things should be done.

The rules.

The rulers.

And what happens when you mishear, or deliberately disobey.

This is an insubordinate publication. It wisely doesn’t take risks because ‘They may belong / to someone else’.

It arranges its own risks vertically.

No wonder it sold out.

Helena Nelson