Media Room

Some Reviews of Andrew’s work:

THE LESSER GOD IN UNTHOLOGY 5

Secrets push through the skin in Andrew Oldham’s The Lesser God, quite literally as Jakes, the man who’ll wrestle anyone for money and always win, is gradually hardening to stone. Through the story his shameful family history is fighting to get out. It is luscious and spiky and moreish. Set viscerally against a quarry backdrop, it has a lyrically elusive voice that demands a second and third reading to really wring out the truth. – Sarah Schofield in The Short Review

Andrew Oldham’s ‘The Lesser God’ appears as a welcome departure from the dominantly interior anxieties of many of the stories, throwing us in at the deep end…of a pig pen, with Jakes the wrestler who doesn’t punch. He creates moments of incredible visceral impact no matter what the subject: ‘It wasn’t a name. It was the sound it made as it gulped, as it drew breath into its body, over dry lips that clicked and ground together each time it spoke’ – Thea Hawlin in The Siren

Other stand-outs include the neatly spliced viewpoints of Death and the Maiden by Maggie Ling, the dark fairytale of Andrew Oldham’s The Lesser God, in which a man slowly turns to stone, and the elegant melancholy of Victoria Heath’s The Coroner. Yes, I know, I’m listing one after another, but it’s difficult to find any to omit. Each tale has its own merit, its own strengths. As I said, this may well be an almost faultless assortment of tales. – Sky Light Train

The biannual Unthology collections of short stories published by Norwich-based Unthank Books deliberately allow a wide range of stories to ‘rub up against one another’. In Unthology 5 the results are sometimes startling as the reader moves, say, from the gentle restraint of Home Counties relationships in John D Rutter’s ’79 Green Gables’ and a new relationship facilitated by Schubert in Maggie Ling’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ to the remorseless violence of bare-fisted wrestling in Andrew Oldham’s powerful story ‘The Lesser God’. Of course the stories can be read in any order, but however they tackle the book I would expect most readers to come across at least one story which will take them out of their comfort zone and introduce them to new ways of seeing the world – Cath Barton in Sabotage

 

GHOSTS OF A LOW MOON

I particularly admire Oldham’s poem ‘Captain Webb’s Relations’. Webb was the first man to swim the channel and he came from Dawley in Shropshire. Oldham brings his admiration of Webb and his imagination together and sets the poem in a Leeds pub:

A morse code of beer, hot chips & black waves that reach us here

He turns the pub into a ship by clever conceit, sustained throughout the poem in a way that summons up a nightmarish scene in which Webb is fighting the waves ‘his lungs full / fathom five’ (he drowned attempting Niagara Falls). Webb was a merchant seaman before he became a professional swimmer; Oldham reflects this in his poem beautifully. There is indeed something ship-like about old-fashioned pubs with the gleaming rails and curved bars. The poem is a hymn for Webb, for endeavour, for the wives who wait and suffer. Webb is one of the ghosts of the title. This poem is a tour de force. – Angela Topping in Stride Magazine

An ambitious, extensive and surreal collection of dreams, childhood memories and strange, fractured love affairs, which culminates in a tragic-comic journey through modern America…It is an ambitious, skillful poet than can range through love, childhood, Costa Coffee and Las Vegas and find a common thread of human suffering – Andrew Michael Hurley, Lancashire Writing Hub/They Eat Culture

One of the brightest and most memorable British poetic voices of today – Vince Gotera, Editor, North American Review.

An impressive collection, moving with ease from what might appear at first glance to be unmediated social realism to moments of great lyricism, and incorporating humour, pathos and crystal-sharp observation with considerable skill Charles Lambert

 

Some Interviews with Andrew:

From The Morning Star, 27th June 2012

Ghosts of a Low Moon: An interview with Andrew Oldham with Charles Lambert, 2nd April 2011

NAWE Young Writers Hub: Andrew Oldham, 1st September 2010

Andrew Oldham Interview at the View From Here by Shanta Everington.

 

Articles by Andrew:

Changing Times, Hidden Problems – Award-winning writer and poet Andrew Oldham discusses trying to get writing published in the modern world of publishing.

How Competition Kills Craft – This article is the first step to generate an open discussion on UK Publishing; whether to embrace a new ethos of co-operation or to continue with the principals of competition.

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