I’ve read a dozen mature, polished, respectable poetry books published in the last month. This is not one of them. Phillipson’s unhinged second collection is stuffed with junk-food and junk language, a maximalist mode “somewhere/ between bile slipstream and a shriek”. It’s often laugh-out-loud funny: “my inner world has to be hoisted/ thru windows like a grand piano/ only atonal & heftier”. Her style is influenced by American modernism, particularly the late John Ashbery, but with a feminist bite that feels utterly 2019, hitting similar notes to Rebecca Tamás’s Witch, an equally pungent highlight of this year... The energy falters in an occasionally affecting but over-extended 70-page elegy to a dead dog. Phillipson excels at apocalyptic snark, but seems less sure what to do with “feelings”, except put the word downpage in a bigger font.
Dopeworld: Adventures in Drug Lands
"To its credit, Dopeworld is nothing if not ambitious. Vorobyov states as much himself, describing it bombastically as ‘true crime, gonzo, social, historical memoir meets fucked up travel book’. That is a lot to cram in. If sometimes he drops the ball (the..."
— The Spectator