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New Review: No Homeless Problem

by Jemma O’Donovan

‘No Homeless Problem’ is a collection of poetry written by Belfast-born Séamus Fox. Throughout this book, Fox clues readers in on what it’s really like to be homeless by drawing on his own experiences, and by using the accounts and stories of 44 individuals who have also experienced the difficulties of being homeless.

The main thing I thought was most effective about reading this book is that I was able to peer into the lives of so many different people, and that what I was reading are true experiences of people who have lived through the horrors of having nowhere to go. This is what made this collection so hard to read, but also what made me keep on reading. I found that by being able to learn about the complications of homelessness that the majority of people don’t get to see (such as in ‘Attempted Murder’, ‘Yellow’, and ‘Life’) really aided my understanding on the harsh reality of what can happen to human beings when they’re not looked after by other human beings, and it reaffirmed the importance of community and support.

At times, I found that some of the poems seemed to have similar voices that blended into one, but I actually think this was effective when it comes to the intentions of this book because it showed me that these experiences always happen to the homeless, no matter who they are or what they once had. I don’t think this approach would’ve worked with any other poetry collection, but Fox pulls it off very well.

This collection of poetry is incredibly thought-provoking, and it ultimately led me to think about the way I perceive homelessness and the ways that I can help and leave a positive impact on people who need it most. For example, ‘Good Samaritan’ and ‘A Bowl of Noodles’ show examples that no matter how big or small a gesture, they will always be appreciated. This collection taught me that all that matters is that we, as human beings, look after each other.

Book Review: Lyrically Justified Volume Two

‘Lyrically Justified’ is a marvellous anthology giving voice to a diverse cast of poets from equally diverse backgrounds. It shines a light on an array of issues that affect us all as modern citizens from politics to various social issues. And the poetry lives up to the title of the anthology, being full of rhythm and some wonderful lyricism which made it a joy to read aloud.

The fact that all the poets are telling their own unique stories in their own unique way makes for a refreshing read. Because there are so many voices, every reader is bound to find a gem in there that speaks to them. I certainly found a few poems that resonated with me such as, ‘Black Girl Twirl’ by Sukina Douglas and ‘Warrior Queen’ by Alyx Tamminen. And there were some that were very memorable such as ‘Crimson Sky’ by Nathaniel Benson and ‘The Ballad of Refuge’ by David Punter.

It is encouraging and ever so inspiring to read an anthology that gives a platform to emerging poets and to see them shine in their own way. Overall, a truly enjoyable read. 10/10


Grace Nyaboko is a 22 year old lover of all things bookish. You can catch her snapping her latest reads on her Instagram page (@teaandpapercuts) or posting her poetry on her blog.


Leading on from the success of the first volume, Lyrically Justified (Volume 2) is available to buy here.