Penelope Layland


First Begin badly. Bring every thing forth— alive, dying: wormy apple, stale bread, fresh flesh, cheap vodka. These early, windy hours leave their marks. Plant frail hopes. Water. Third Later, alone: going about bends while skies flash—white, black, white black …

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Angela Costi Reviews Anita Patel, Denise O’Hagan and Penelope Layland

Since 2015, Recent Work Press has published a consistently high standard of poets with years of accomplished adventure including Paul Hetherington, Peter Bakowski, Anne Casey, Damen O’Brien, Phillip Hall, Anne Elvey, Jennifer Compton, Rico Craig, Heather Taylor-Johnson, Cassandra Atherton, Jen Webb, Adrian Caesar, and so many others.

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The blank surface wakes to a slow roil of lips and flanks as the carp rise from suspension. From bridge-height it’s a blistering that suddenly stretches whale-wide and moves with one brain, many mouthed. I have seen koi meander skewbald …

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Blue Poles [Number 11, 1952]

I’m lost in dense bush seeking a register of familiarity: the mandarin of flame, white of bled light, cold char black. There’s a harmonic of invisible birds: lucid bell, bleb of whip, the mimic lyre. Son of Wyoming somehow knowing …

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