The Blue Nib Chapbook 4 Pat Anthony, Mike Farren & Sharon Flynn Review

The most mesmerising language that is known to beast and mortal, is that of poetry. It pivots on your tongue and serenades the soul under a moonlit sky. A truly enchanting song of literature that lasts for an eternity. 

Today on the blog I am reviewing The Blue Nib Chapbook 4 (Published June 15, 2019) By Pat Anthony, Mike Farren & Sharon Flynn. A big thank you to the publishers for my copy to review, always appreciated. Grab a cuppa and let’s indulge in some poetry, after you dear reader.


About The Authors

Pat Anthony (First place) writes the backroads, often inspired by soil and those that work it. Using land as her lens she mines characters, relationships and herself. A longtime educator, she holds an MA in Humanities Literature, Cal State, among others. She writes daily, edits furiously and scrabbles for honesty no matter the cost. She has work published or forthcoming in Cholla Needles, Heron Tree, Nature Writing, Quail Bell, Third Wednesday, Tipton Poetry Review, The Avocet, The Courtship of Winds, Open Minds Quarterly, Orchard Street Press, Passager, Red Wolf Journal, Snakeskin, Awkward Mermaid and others.

Mike Farren (Second place) is an editor in academic publishing from Shipley, Bradford. His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including The Interpreter’s House, The High Window, Strix, Riggwelter and Valley Press’s Anthology of Yorkshire Poetry. His debut pamphlet, ‘Pierrot and his mother’ was published by Templar Poetry in 2017 and in 2018 he was one of the ‘canto’ winners for Poem of the North. He is a member of Beehive Poets and Wharfedale Poets, publishes under the Ings Poetry and Yaffle Press imprints and co-hosts the Rhubarb open mic in Shipley.

As a child, Sharon Flynn (Third place) listened to her father lecture on the History of Anaesthesia; the poems included in Chapbook 4 are part of a response to those memories. Sharon has been squeezing reading and writing poetry into the corners of her life for several years, and despite her expectations, recent retirement has not yet provided enough time for her to spend at either activity.

About The Blue Nib


The Blue Nib is a print and digital platform that publishes and promotes the work of established and emerging poets and writers. 

The Blue Nib imprint publishes a limited number of first and second collections of poetry and fiction per year. Recent works include poets and writers such as Dominic Fisher‘s Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead, and the upcoming Demise of the Undertakers Wife by Anne Walsh Donnelly.

The well established Blue Nib Chapbook Contest gives emerging and established poets and writers the opportunity to have their work judged by a renowned poet.


The Blue Nib Chapbook 4

thumbnail_The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest 4 Cover.png

The Blue Nib’s chapbook contest has now run for five rounds with the series offering an unprecedented opportunity for emerging and established poets to get their work before a well known judge. In this the fourth round of the contest we were delighted to have the incredible Helen Mort to judge for us. 

In this book we introducing three very strong emerging poets in, Pat Anthony, Mike Farren and Sharon Flynn, each writing with passion and conviction, but all having their own very distinctive voices. We are very pleased to be able to showcase these emerging talents. 

My Review

The imagery that Anthony uses in his poetry is striking. You experience all the senses, seeing the colour, touching the textures and tasting the delicacies. There is a captivating theme of place and people. She brings them to life effortlessly in your mind, twirling elegantly with her words. You feel the desire in her voice, the importance of these poems that need to be discovered. My tastebuds were ignited when I read La Tortilleria, which is also my favourite poem by Anthony in this collection. The sounds and smells she conjures, the diced papaya and the slapping of the tortillas, a rhythm that follows the reader throughout the poem. It’s a flavoursome mixture that pulls you in and leaves you hungry for more.

how strong this woman to heave heavy bags
of cornmeal, lift buckets of water, mix and form perfection
between her palms and how fast she stacks the rounds
accepts coins places bags of warm tortillas in waiting hands
my footsteps keeping rhythm as I move on slap—slap 

I can imagine Farren’s poems being carved into wood or stone and displayed in a forest. They have an earthy, natural feel to them and speak of simpler times. A time when we were happy and money didn’t hold power or control of our hearts. It’s a welcoming bliss to read as he strips it back to the bone and offers the true beauty of what life is all about. How drinking wine and playing scrabble in the heat is a simple pleasure until they built on the fields and the sirens wail by. Moments that life naturally creates for us, pure and breathtaking. 

We’re not used to the heat. Forgive us
if all we want to do is sit together
on the patio, playing Scrabble, drinking wine,
talking, looking out over fields no one
would be stupid enough to build on
(until they did), enjoying the comfort
of our lives, spoiled only by the sirens
and the smell of the city, burning. 

I got a feel of a darker and atmospheric world in Flynn’s poems. Everything is followed by instruction, has order and a procedure. Flynn’s poems are well-stocked with details that flow hauntingly up your spine and tease the hairs on the back of your neck. I felt exposed, that I was the one on the table being cut open and screaming in pain. She plays with our human vulnerabilities and shows our naked form. There’s little fluff and she paints a realistic world that is compelling to read.

It opens up a four inch slit.
She starts to scream.
He cuts along the other side.

The flesh resists.
A sponge is used to wipe away the blood.
His scalpel burrows into yellow fat. 

I give The Blue Nib Chapbook 4 a Five out of Five paw rating. 

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As an avid lover of poetry and poet myself, I take great pleasure in exploring new realms in the community. I am a strong, passionate supporter in the writer world and indulge in reading a variety of genres. There is so much creative talent in the world that it’s sickening how a lot of it goes unnoticed. That’s what I love and appreciate about The Blue Nib, they give the chance for emerging poets to have their voices heard and their poetry read. To see one’s work in print is such a humbling experience and comforts the mind that when you put pen to paper, extraordinary things can and will happen. 

I highly recommend this book, it’s refreshing, captivating and to put it simply, a beautiful collection of poetry by three talented poets. 


Buy A Copythumbnail_The Blue Nib Chapbook Contest 4 Cover









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About Bunny's Pause

Hello, I'm a Author/Poet/Reviewer/Bookworm/Gamer/Music Lover/Wife and Mother! I review and recommend books as I LOVE to read! I am always on the lookout for new and upcoming books to expand my ever-growing library. If you have something you wish me to read and review, please contact me. I would be delighted to hear from you. Hop hop wiggle wiggle
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