Disoccidented by Alfie Shoyger: A Review

I've been asked to share this review Alfie Shoyger received for his first collection which is on sale now, and I do so with pleasure:

"Disoccidented" is the first collection published by Alfie Shoyger, a poet with whose work I am familiar through the writer’s website ABCTales. “Caveat Lector” is perhaps what I should say first. Some sentiments and opinions within the collection may well offend the sensibilities of readers. This should in no way deter the reader from reading the poet’s work. Shoyger has an incredible grip of form and language and the the collection is worth exploring for these facets alone.

My belief is that we should read the work of people whose world-view doesn’t coincide with our own, we may not be converted, but when the writing is of sufficient quality, we can recognise the passion with which such a view is held.

I particularly enjoyed the earlier part of the collection, having read the poems in order as the reader is exhorted to do in Shoyger’s comprehensive foreword. Standouts included “Christmas Aunties” and the rigourous rhyming couplets of “Uncle Eddie”.

Rage in poetry can be very effective and the bilious rant of “F**k Off, S***y Free Verse Poet” struck a chord or two.
Any poets among you will recognise the feelings expressed in “Tips For Getting Published.

There is talent by the bucket-load on display here. It is clear that Shoyger wants this collection to be autobiography as well as polemic, but in the tradition of Pound, or perhaps even Kipling, I do feel that some of his readership will fall by the wayside before the end – and that would be a great pity.

There are tender moments, in “Nothing to Offer” for example. The account of the Stokes Croft Riot is epic, in more than one sense.

I’d recommend this collection thoroughly, but not for those of a nervous disposition. I still read Pound’s Cantos from time to time, Shoyger’s work is rewarding, if disturbing, and although sometimes he tries too hard to shock, there is quite enough in this collection to reward the reading of it.'

You can order your copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Disoccidented-Alfie-Shoyger/dp/1999922859


Someone who rhymes Vladivostok with gladly-tossed sock should be Laureate