Tapsalteerie have done it again, yet another beautiful poetry pamphlet published, this time showcasing the works of Tim Craven. With a physical weighting to the poems, and many relative moments, his work is vivid and identifiable. Lake Effect is great publication, lyrical yet energetic.

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, Tim Craven is completing an AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Edinburgh. He has a BSc in neuroscience from the University of Manchester and a poetry MFA from Syracuse University. Over the last year, Tim was the very first writer-in-residence at the Isle of Harris Distillery, had work commissioned for Talbot Rice Gallery’s exhibition, Trading Zone, and was a visiting fellow at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, TX. It’s hardly surprising to see strong execution and this degree of craft in Lake Effect.

From the first poem, Neuroanatomy Practical, it is clear that Craven’s poetry has a physical presence. Heavy in metaphor, his work is easy to visualise. Sabbath obviously feels a little more spritual, laden with imagery, “their whispers of paradise leave me tarnished; pound-shop provenance evidence of just how far I haven’t come.” His nostalgic poem about fishing has more gorey and graphic detail, which personally makes it a more difficult read.

Ceremony has no less morbidity but adds depth to the loss of an animal, considering the differences between a burial and cremation. Holes is steeped in great imagery, with lines such as, “the wind is no comfort, blowing through me as though I were an open door or drak matter.” Visual, and present, Craven’s poetry has a cinematic element to it. The poem, however, that resonates most with me is Magic Hour. We all know that moment before the sun goes down during the winter months. “The sky is a great burned lake – any moment a mermaid might break the skin before disappearing back below the surface;” visuallising this is a delight that adds richness to this collection.

Tim Craven’s Lake Effect is a stunning poetry pamphlet, showcasing the fluidity of his work, beautiful imagery and physical weighting. I will keep my eye out for more of this poet’s work.

Lake Effect is available now, published by Tapsalteerie Press.