Review of As Editor

"As birthday presents go a symposium like this must be high on the heart-warming scale. And one of the charms of the poems in this collection is the recurring sense of the personalised and the 'occasional': out of which emerges a several-sided picture of the man they celebrate. What significance, the reader will be curious to know, do these poems have for the one who wrote them, what for Stewart Conn, the dedicatee? Poems like Gerry Cambridge's Certhia Familiaris, the charm and precision of Ken Cockburn's In the Garden, Alan Crosbie's Voodoo.

Among them are some that speak out beyond their own particular: At the Hermitage by Brian McCabe, Calm Water by John Glenday, the tender outrage in Ian McDonough's Train Whistles of America. And there are those lightly teasing ones, Jim C Wilson's Supporting Role, Brian Johnstone's The Man who Sang to Wine. But 70 has to be a wee bit premature for a last performance in these healthy-living times, so beguilingly bewailed in the laughter and affection of Anne Stevenson's Ode. There will surely be encores to look forward to; and Christine De Luca adumbrates those in the exact and beautifully realised images of For a New Decade of Song. Shore Poets and their chosen editors have done these honours well."

'There's a Poem to be Made', Daisy Mackenzie, 2007