‘New European Art’
by Mark Coverdale
5. Is a diorama of instructions on how to dismantle a Lego concentration camp.
Mark Coverdale was born in Darlington, and now lives and works in North London. He is the founder of Tonic Sta Press, and has had work published by Magma, Nymphs and Thugs, Culture Matters and Burning Housepress. When he’s not writing, he’s restoring furniture or being a shonky drummer.
Mark’s inclusion as a Flight of the Dragonfly Press author brings me great satisfaction, not simply because he was picked up about the same time as they ‘discovered’ me. Mark is part of a dying breed: the honest, earnest poetic voice whose heart and soul has been poured into every single word of this pamphlet. It’s several worlds away from anything I have read from anybody else, and massively affecting as a result.
What’s in it for Me?
Once you’re past the superlative New European Art Exhibition Guide, it’s time to dive into the work proper. Coat is absolutely the poem to start things off here, because it’s the vital link between narrator and the journey: across Europe, through brutal wars and terrible events, highlighting the importance of the Vyshyvanka in Ukranian cultural identity and a love of football that transcends just about everything.
Except, Penalties isn’t about football. Jam Sandwich is a narrative that covers decades, and i am a photograph i am is the perfect endpoint, except you don’t want it to stop. You want none of this to end because it’s a world you knew nothing about until the pamphlet was opened and now the imagery is so damning and precise and the horror is very real and inescapable and… you remember to breathe, and step back.
This is a pamphlet that demands your attention and respect, from a poet with the most righteous of political hearts and a soul we should all aspire to emulate. At its core are the things that matter most to this man, and it is a privilege to be allowed to share those items, the way they are presented and then delivered on the page. If you can take the time to find your way deep into these poems’ structures, I guarantee you will not be left wanting.
i am a photograph i am for the imagery
absolutely after the belarus free theatre for the inference
White Cat Black Roof for the impact
Buy from the Press HERE
if you enjoyed this review, please consider a donation using Ko-Fi