NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
STEVE SNEYD: GESTALTMACHER, GESTALTMACHER, MAKE ME A GESTALT
Four Quarters Press
7 The Towers
Stevenage
Herts
SG1 1HE
UK
ISBN 0 953511 32 4
5.99 [$12]

STEVE SNEYD: THREE STAR CHAMBER
Krax
63 Dixon Lane
Leeds
LS12 4RR
UK
12p [25cts]
STEVE SNEYD: AHASUERUS ON MARS
Atlantean Publishing
38 Pierrot Steps
71 Kursaal Way
Southend on Sea
Essex
SS1 2UY
UK
1

STEVE SNEYD: THE BARDS #6
Atlantean Publishing
10p

email Atlantean Publishing
visit the website of Atlantean Publishing
read an article by Steve Sneyd on The Number Of Language
read an article by Steve Sneyd on The Inclusion of Poetry in Novels

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STEVE SNEYD: GESTALTMACHER, GESTALTMACHER, MAKE ME A GESTALT

This is the first substantial collection of Steve Sneyd's poetry since IN COILS OF EARTHEN HOLD University of Salzburg Press, 1993). With that out of print, those who wish to get an overview of his work since will need to start here.

Ian McMillan notes in his FOREWORD that

it's a walk with Steve from his house to the edge of the universe and beyond.
This book follows that walk, arranging itself into five sections that take us from Mainstream realism, through responses to aspects of the part of Yorkshire where I live, into encountering pasts in the present tense to dark fantasy and the final 25-page science fictional/speculative explorations.

It's a walk that will have you wondering where your feet are going to land next, and if indeed there's any solid ground beneath them at all. The first three sections, apparently rooted in realism and specific locale, are as mind-bogglingly fantastic as any STAR WARS movie:

	and in between casualty figures coming
	through from Mazar i Sharif Bald Vulture
	Claw says has got answer on poet query
	but have run out of time
			YOUR FIRST NAME AND TOWN
The two final sections give us the Steve Sneyd most are familiar with, freewheeling through space and time as in THE CASE OF THE QUESTING BEAST
	black hole swallows all
	 but where does what is
	swallowed go?

	ah comes out white hole
	elsewhere else when they say
	easy to grasp
Science fiction meets fantasy and speculative poetry in a head-on collision leaving the reader reeling and breathless. It's not for the fainthearted, being mostly unpunctuated stream-of-consciousness writing that makes demands of the reader, effortlessly skimming ideas around to be picked up by the alert: viz A CALL TO MIND IS A CALL TO ACTION
	greenypurple as winter bramble
	deathbedded he-it-they strive
	to call back to aching side
	all those offshoots driven
	out to farflungs of the spiral arm
	lucky for their convenience
	now newrooted in another clime
	the message system long ago
	ceased functioning and so remains
	all on its ownieownieo
If you buy one poetry collection this year, make it this one the poetry of the 21st and 22nd centuries is here, now.

reviewer: John Francis Haines.
STEVE SNEYD: THREE STAR CHAMBER

This is a tiny fun booklet from Steve Sneyd, who previously taught creative writing. He won the Peterson Trophy for Poetry, Newcastle 1996. He also won the annual award from the Pendragon Arthurian Society in 1991, and was nominated as Small Press Writer of the Year in the 1980s. All the poems are titled and are written in the 5/7/5 format (5 syllables on the first line, 7 syllables on the second line, and 5 syllables on the third line):

	red mist all round this
	far realm, we can no longer
	see to add more blood
The one above is called A REAL TEST OF HUMAN RESORCE. There is an illustration on the cover by Alan Hunter, and a couple inside by Cory Harding, that are very pleasant and in keeping with the content, which is a light-hearted take on outer space.

reviewer: Doreen King.
STEVE SNEYD: STEVE SNEYD: AHASUERUS ON MARS

Steve Sneyd can be something of an acquired taste. His liking for compound words and minimal punctuation plus sci-fi subject matter can make his poems seem over-dense on the page.

	... surface only seconds away now and soon will step out
	make my first transmission oh now
	shall I tell who what I am
	laugh how whatever checks they made
	failed to reveal explain first
	on Mars not man but Endless Immortal
	Guilty One laughweep through my aliases say shrugwise
	well at least
	my parents guessed right twice
	that I would be

	something someone of fame of great things
	huge name all-known was not
	mere foolish
	delusions of grandeur in the family thinking great prospects
	for me named me Ahaseurus  Bible name for Emperor
	Xerzes, husband of Esther and now he forget
	not I 
	perhaps it was that name gave me impudence call it
	or need to be in spotlight
	to all others letting pass in silence
	step past my cobbler shop threshold
	 cobbler shop, a man like me,
	well beneath my name my talent
	but that is was life  to
	insult spurn jeer
	you call it correct name it seemed to me
	just passing time of day
	less cruel than not a word to him come dragging
	by in day from prophet preacher popstar famous into
	crawling deathward criminal...
However, take the trouble to read aloud and find that the line and stanza breaks occur in natural breath spaces and much attention has been paid to assonance and sound-patterns. For example, that "laughweep" isn't just a repetition of the earlier "laugh" but sets up an assonance with "shrugwise" and the long vowels echo and complement the "o" sounds throughout the quoted section. Then contrast the flippant "laughweep... shrugwise" with the tone of the alliterative "crawling deathward criminal" where the rhythm changes and the phrase picks up the earlier "correct", "cruel" and "come dragging". It's a taste worth acquiring.

reviewer: Emma Lee.
STEVE SNEYD: THE BARDS #6

Bard Hair Day?

The Bards is a series inspired by Bard, designed to showcase the work of individual poets so writes D.J. Tyrer, editor of this series "of handy leaflet-style collections" of which #6 contains the work of Steve Sneyd. This A4 (folded) sheet contains one longish (75 line) poem about Ramon Mercader contemplating the assassination of Leon Trotsky and two shorter poems, the purpose of these being less clear.

Sneyd's reputation built as a writer of Science Fiction is not enhanced by this pedestrian collection of non-SF poems. Neither does the reputation of the press benefit: this leaflet is carelessly produced, with no gutter between page fold and text on the copy I received of this uninspired collection.

reviewer: Patrick B. Osada.