NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
ROBIN BELL: HOW TO TELL LIES
Bluechrome Publishing
PO Box 109
Portishead
Bristol
BS20 7ZJ
UK
ISBN 1 904781 29 2
4.99


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ROBIN BELL: HOW TO TELL LIES

I was very interested to be sent this particular book to review. There had been considerable discussions in Edinburgh poetry circles about what Robin Bell was going to do with his 30,000 Scottish Arts Council award to make a poetic comment on the G8 Summit that happened in the city last year. And here is the result, or part of the result at least.

HOW TO TELL LIES is a nicely designed minimalist response to the G8. Bell's approach is to compare politicians on the world stage to predators and prey in the natural world. At its best, it works beautifully, as in this entry on Defence:

	The new traditional 
	flea

	is wise to
	marauding beaks. 

	He struts 
	the corridors

	of 
	fortress hedgehog.
Some of the other sections are perhaps less successful, but at the least Bell encourages the reader to see politics from a different angle, offering an interesting take on an important issue in today's world. As such this is an important little book to read. Whether it was worth the Scottish Arts Council award will no doubt continue to be discussed in Edinburgh poetry circles for a good while to come.

reviewer: Juliet Wilson.