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Orbis 200: ‘All the best to you, and to Orbis!’
(Glyn Maxwell; shortlisted for Best Collection in the Forward Prize)

‘Best wishes for the journal – and congratulations
on such a successful magazine over the years’
(Joy Harjo, United States Poet Laureate)


Single issue: £6.00 (Overseas: £12/€14/$16); Subs: £20/4 pa (Overseas: £45/€50/$60)

Associate Editor (Book Reviews): Maria Isakova-Bennett

Reviews by: Philip Dunkerley; David Harmer; Jenny Hockey;
Jennifer McGowan; D.A.Prince; Andrew Taylor

Please note with new collections, press release in first instance –
not review copies.


Front cover artwork: ‘Chora 32’ by Matthew Smith

Back cover, detail from image:

Twinkle, twinkle… a whole host of stars within, in fact, what Chris Parsons

describes as a Constellation. Which you may enjoy watching along with

Mara Adamitz Scrupe, night/ cabin/ lakeside, tho maybe no Painted Angels

despite Matthew Smith telling you about them.

Down to earth… these days, you can understand J. Burke asking

Where did all theporpoises go? while Ellen Zhang makes the most of

Waiting for Those Pink River Dolphins. Endangered species include us of course,

the Dispossessed, as Phil Walsh reminds us, trying not to think about

Spindle, Thread and Shears (Ali Rowland). But be consoled by John Zedolik

and his reassuring, No Bother. All the more so, if like Aidan Fadden,

you want to embark on The Search For OK. You’ll find it here all right –

indeed; better than OK

Featured Writer: Gemma Parker

Southern Spring; Cicadas; Before the Storm; How to get through it

Poems from

Aidan Fadden,The Search For OK; S Kimbrough McLendon, Owl Courting;
Tolu Ogunlesi,
Meeting; Mara Adamitz Scrupe, night/ cabin/ lakeside;

Chiara Salomon, Palìrroia; John Zedolik, No Bother

Prose from Lani O’Hanlon, Written in milk;

Gemma Parker, Femme-Maison; Mark Reece, Escape

Translation: Ranald Barnicot, Naevius v. The Metelli 

Past Master: Philip Dunkerley on Miguel Hernández  

Orbis 205 Contributors also include
Pratibha Castle; A.C. Clarke; John Irving Clarke;
Jill Eulalie Dawson; Bill Dodd; Jenny Hamlett; Robin Helweg-Larsen;
Tony Horitz; Annette Iles; Ben Keatinge; Kathy Miles; Lindy Newns;
Mark Paffard; Jenna Plewes; Jean Prior; Elva Robins; Paul Saville;
Terry Sherwood; Christopher Southgate; Miriam Sulhunt;
Peter Sutton; Paul Truan; Judith Wilkinson; Lesa Walker  


April 26, Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed for Writebase:



A magical and meaningful production which draws out so many parallels with life today, 80 years on, there are nearly as many lines as those spoken by the excellent cast. In other words, so many lessons to be learned in this iconic tale of animals taking over. Near as damnit, the lunatics running the asylum, with their delusional ideas and grandiose so-called victories.

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Fascinating Aîda

Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

February 1, reviewed for Writebase:



Who says women of a certain age are invisible? Three cheers for the ever glamorous, and indeed, downright sexy (not sure I’m permitted to say that, but damn sure they wouldn’t object) Fascinating Aîda, who not only make their presence felt but are so in your face you can see the whites of their eyes as the sweetest of harmonies deliver vitriol in the sharpest of points; a fabled, and fabulous, iron fist in a velvet glove. And you needn’t think the audience is full of, shall we say, women in their prime either because

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French House Party

Creative Writing Course, Carcassonne, Southern France

June 20-26

Pen &Think: Tutored Retreat

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October 19-23

War of the Worlds

Reviewed for North West End:



What a tangled web we weave, especially these days when the Internet ensures all kinds of information reach the parts that other sources can’t get to. Fake news can make people belligerent or else scare them out of their wits, just as it did with the broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

October 12-16

Dracula: The Untold Story
imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse

Adapted and directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks


Reviewed for North West End:


The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and here we are on Route 66 (or should that be 666?), since that’s their year (read on…), and a young lady has just walked into a police station to confess to murder. But she says her name is Mina Harker…

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July 17- August 30

Pride And Prejudice

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Reviewed for Writebase:



It is a truth universally acknowledged – that you absolutely do not need to open with such a well known quote, or variations thereof, even if it establishes that most people know what you are talking about, and a plot summary is not required. Nor that such a familiar tale couldn’t prove damn’d tricky to be given enough of a spin to sprinkle it with stardust and make it fresh and original. It succeeds wonderfully.

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August 19-30

Jungle Book

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Reviewed for Writebase:




They say the sun shines on the righteous, so here, only right that the forecast of rain was incorrect – though it became a biblical outpouring almost as soon as this swinging performance finished. Read the rest of this entry »


January 26
Ó Bhéal Five Words Competition

Weekly closing date each Tuesday at noon
Must feature the five words given for the week




Write your way out of it with Dawn Gorman

Please email me
for details of this, and/or
my full critiquing service:


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