Slinky Espadrilles by Ash Dickinson
Don’t be put off by the strange name – this is an extremely accessible, enjoyable collection of poetry. It’s the debut collection in print from Dickinson, but he’s been writing and performing for years, to some acclaim. This collection is a record of poems that Dickinson has performed, and the normal reservation about not seeing them performed occasionally rears its head. However, this can generally be bypassed if you have an imagination, because these are very stimulating poems, and clearly a lot of thought has gone in to how they’re laid out on the page to reflect the way they should be read.
This is most notable in the poems which were (presumably) originally performed as a rap, which divide phrases with ‘/’ symbols, rather than different lines, to preserve some of the flow. The poems are often personal – indeed, Dickinson names himself in them on occasion – and usually relatably domestic, but this often takes a surreal turn. Dickinson has performed extensively at comedy shows, so his poetry needs to consistently hold the attention, and does, often with humour. This is an engaging series of poems that has managed to go from the mouth to the page while retaining their quality superbly.