Martina Evans’ poems are compressed stories, if not entire novels, in all but their word counts. The specimens, none of them overlong, in American Mules (Carcanet, £12.99; Tablet price £11.69) jaunt along delightfully, as if spoken into your ear, and they show a particular interest in the details of the everyday – she is the least abstract, least generalising of poets. There is no poetical windbaggery here, more a pleasing companionableness, a grabbing-you-by-the-under-arm and racing you along beside.
Speed reading: Summer poetry
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