Tastes of Ink, the first full-length publication by Will Conway, is a polished arrival for the poet and writer. Conway’s prose is quick and concise, as are his stories’ plots, and makes for quite an enjoyable read.

Published by Lazy Gramophone Press, the collection of nine stories is broken up by a recurring illustration: a 3 x 3 grid, with each square filled with an image associated with the following story , a visual overview of Conway’s strongly interwoven thematics. The stories have a conversational quality, with clear direction (and often misdirection), using classic story formulae (a creation story, alien invaders, a British superspy, a questing knight) as points from which to veer. The subject matter is diverse but tied together by Conway’s sense of humor and empathetic characters , who display empathy even when facing decisions that ought to promote solipsism. Tastes of Ink is entertaining and thoughtful, assembled and presented with care, and well worth reading.