Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

An extraordinary talent

The highly anticipated annual display and presentation of work by final year Creative Writing students at De Montfort University, Leicester, as part of Cultural Exchanges 2018, did not disappoint. As always, the standard was extremely high, giving inspiration to up and coming students and showcasing the wealth of local talent that abounds. 

However, one particular collection, Meaningless Destruction by Shannan Mitchener, stood out for me as being truly exceptional and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to talk to the poet individually. 

Shannan’s enthusiasm and engagement are infectious; she is forthcoming about the challenges she has faced over the years, her initial preference for prose over poetry, and generous with her advice on how to keep an open mind. Thank goodness that she persevered with her talent for contemporary poetry, as this wonderful collection of over 50 poems speaks from, and to, the heart. From the evocative 'Brown Eyes' to the heart-rending 'Alone', the narrative progresses through the elation of new love to the desperation of dependence via self harm and domestic violence, and shines a spotlight on the dark corners behind closed doors. Moreover, the inclusion of a list of organisations available to offer help for anyone affected by the issues raised, reflect an acute awareness of mental health and elevate this collection even more.

The Demon Crew, always superb, have this time, I believe, produced an extraordinary talent and I’m positive this is the start of an incredible career.

Shannan’s collection Meaningless Destruction is available from Amazon priced £5.99

Tickets for the festival can be found by clicking here: Cultural Exchanges 

And you can also hear from members of the Demon Crew - and buy their publications - at the States of Independence Festival on Saturday, 10th March.


Helen Abbot

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