Review: a compact of words reviewed by Ruperb Loydell for Stride Magazine (2012)
rob mclennan (sic; the lower case is his insistence, not my mistake) is far from ordinary. He has an amazing writing and publishing output, and cannot fail to be on the radar of any poetry reader paying attention. From his Canadian base mclennan runs a pamphlet press, various book fairs and events, online journals of both poetry and poetics, inbetween travelling widely to book fairs, conferences and events around the world. En route he enthuses, challenges and networks and leaves in his wake a fine poetic output.
I've just caught up with his 2009 book, a compact of words, from Irish publisher Salmon, a book rooted in domestic matters, including familial breakdown/break up. Much of mclennan's work here is his trademark, or at least familiar, single or two line verses, drawing on the ghazal as a form, with diverse images and ideas accruing meaning as the poem goes on, but others are more straightforward and lyrical, particularly the poems in 'blindness: seven poems for kate'. These are poems which pick at mental and emotional scabs, states of being, poems which articulate real life but aren't afraid to confuse and abuse the norm.
what is the difference between song & burial
the difference of another document
[from 'the wrong man']
© Rupert Loydell 2012