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Dear Big Gods by Mona Arshi – review

Clifton’s poems [in Herod’s Dispensations] draw strength from their grounding in fact and from the directness with which he offers his voice or the voice of apparently real characters (like whoever speaks at the start of ‘Zhoukoudian’). Arshi writes with equal power but in a wholly different way. She creates micro-worlds of dream-like intensity, surreal distortion, fantasy and myth. This applies even to poems apparently based on real events, like the account of hoe a boy (her brother?) was attacked by wasps. Other poems in which she seems to speak to or about her brother after his death combine … Continue Reading