A5, 28pp, September 2011, €5
What do the words ‘epic poem’ conjure up for you? Thoughts of gods, myths and battles – Beowulf, Homer, Dante and Milton perhaps? Maybe you think of Pound, Carlos Williams and Walcott, each of whom adapted and modernised the epic form. Most people probably don’t think of sex, vernacular language and frequent references to popular culture, all of which J. Bradley’s How Esmerelda Estrus ... has in abundance. … Overall, it’s a seething, dark romp of a poem. Accessible and fun, truthful and surprising, Bradley’s pamphlet hooked me from the start. I’m particularly reminded of Jane Holland’s Boudicca & Co. There are also similarities to some of Neil Rollinson’s work, perhaps with a side order of Eliot. This is a captivating poem for the 21st century. Anyone with an interest in contemporary, intelligent narrative poetry should buy this book. Lindsay Holland, Sabotage Reviews.