Poems in this issue include work by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Sarah Howe, Richard Scott, Declan Ryan, Claire Booker, Malene Engelund, Sally Festing and Robert Selby.
Artwork is on top form, with cover and a palate of work by South Korean artist Hyounsang Yoo, who gives insights into her journey as an artist and her working process. The Summer Salon of images is refreshingly diverse, including ‘Cherries’ by Kes Richardson and ‘Fatal Flower Garden’ by Melanie Bonajo. And as an added extra, Jenny Dunseath’s ‘An image, I’m pleased, I am sad’ is available to download from Ambit’s website as an animated .gif.
Plus short fiction lovers can enjoy stories by Dave Wakely, Marcella O’Connor, Tania Hershman and Jonny Keyworth – from insights into scientific nuns and gay parenthood to the melting pot of cultures that is New York.
To buy your copy of Ambit 221, or subscribe to the magazine, visit:
It doesn’t come cooler than Albion Beatnik Press as a boutique venue for one of Britain’s best loved literary mags. Throw in a balmy Oxford evening, mouth-watering books packed from floor to ceiling, teapots in all sizes and some cracking poetry and you’ve got yourself a launch.
People came from as far away as Aberdeen, Wiltshire, Manchester and London to celebrate the work of 56 poets and short fiction writers, including Tammy Adams, Claire Booker, Nancy Campbell, Anas Hassan, Gram Joel Davis, Rachel Mann, John McAuliffe, Rosemary Norman and Judith Taylor.
TIH 59 is a bumper issue which includes the winning poems from the 2015 Open House Poetry Competition – Roz Goddard’s ‘The Baroness and the Nun’; Dan O’Brien’s ‘ The War Reporter Paul Watson on the Devourer of Hearts’; andTerry Jones’ ‘The Naked Blessed Childhood of Maire O’Hanlon’.
Liz Berry was the competition judge responsible for whittling an avalanche of entries down to three winners and seven highly commended poets. “I was looking for something magical or surprising, something well crafted and affecting too. There’s a strange indescribable electricity I feel when reading or hearing a brilliant poem and so I let that feeling be my first guide.”
Her choices don’t disappoint. Nor does the main body of poetry selected by Editor, Martin Malone. And for those who enjoy short fiction, there are stories by Jacob Ross and Alison Hitchcock too.
Now that the magazine has up sticks and left for Aberdeen, it remains to be seen whether TIH’s popular shindigs will come south of the border again. Aberdeen’s gain is Oxford’s loss. Or could dual launches be the answer (any excuse for a party!).
Copies of The Interpreter’s House (issue 59) are available for a very reasonable £5.00 from the website at: INTERPRETER’S HOUSE
If you come to Oxford, you’ll love Albion Beatnik Press as a place to brouse, drink tea, buy poetry. The cafe is close to Worcester College, only 10 mins walk from the main train station, at 34 Walton Street, OX2 6AA.
Two visits to Guildford in one week and I’ve begun to feel like a poetry commuter! First up I was there for the launch of The Keystone Anthology, which is a roller-coaster of a read. Concrete poetry, free-verse, traditional form, politics, love, humour, anatomical conundrums and amorous fridges all jostle for the reader’s attention.
There’s a generous 164 pages of poetry by 56 poets including Chrys Salt MBE, Bernard Kops, David Cooke, Ghareeb Iskander, Wendy Klein, Amy Neilson Smith, Bethany W Pope, Claire Booker, Nancy Charley and Steve Pottinger.
The first edition sold out, but more copies will shortly be available at Dempsey&Windle – books, pamphlets and poems
Surrey’s capital city beckoned again only days later, as I’d been invited by the 1,000 Monkeys to perform a set at the monthly Bar des Arts poetry shindig alongside Elaine Stabler and Hugh Greasley. So it was Clapham Junction (platform 11, swarming with cut-throat commuters returning to roost) and due south to this lovely venue, nestling by Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud theatre. The turn-out was lively and perfectly formed, including some wonderful open mic madness by Alex Twyman, Donall Dempsey and a top-hatted gothic bard. The 1,000 Monkeys meet at 7.30pm every third Tuesday of the month at The Bar des Arts, Weymead House, Milbrook, Guildford GU1 3YA. It’s a FREE event and all are welcome.
The Australia Times Poetry Magazine goes walk-about this month with a link to a film poem ‘My Campfire’s My Home’ by Manfred Vijars, which is beautifully shot and will have you cocking an ear for those kookaburras. There’s also a Sound Cloud link to a wonderful set of folk ballads about Ned Kelly by Leanne M. Murphy: https://soundcloud.com/leanne-murphy-16/track-8
Poems from three continents find connection in this issue, including ‘A Little Boy Dreaming’ by Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923); a Petrarchian sonnet by Shelley Hansen; Banjo Patterson’s ‘Shearing with a Hoe’; ‘Here is the Man Planet’, a powerful poem inspired by a trip to Pakistan by M F Moonzajer; plus one of my own poems about an earthquake.
Do check out the magazine (22nd May 2015) by clicking the link below. If you write poetry, you might like to consider sending in your work. Submission guidelines are included towards the back of the issue.
I’ve cracked and finally bought myself a two year subscription to Magma. It’s just too good a read to miss (use it or lose it!)
So what does issue 61 have in store for the eager reader? Well, some strong poetry for starters, including work by Simon Barraclough, Claire Booker, Lisa Kelly, Ian McEwan, Amali Rodrigo, Kathryn Simmonds, Paul Stephenson, Christine Webb, Kate White and David Wheatley among a host of other talents. Particular stand-outs for me include an extraordinary paeon to the ordinary – ‘World Away’ by Gram Joel Davies, and the precocious talent of teenager Daniella Cugini whose ‘mrs dalloway’s last white poppies’ is a mind-blower.
Co-editors Jon Sayers and Nick Sunderland serve up more delicacies with a test drive of Tamar Yoseloff’s ‘Walking London: An Audio Tour’ which takes you on a psychogeographical tour of the hidden parts of the capital and is available for £5.00 from The Poetry School website.
If that doesn’t get your creative juices flowing, then read the rib-tickling article on wit by Finuala Dowling. She’s embedded writing prompts throughout her piece. So how about writing a poem in which the title is longer than the poem itself, or listing ways of breaking up a marriage (careful!), or ending a poem with the line: ‘This is just a poem’?
Plus Magma brings young voices into the mix with a fine crop of Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award winners (aged 11-17); the results of an online survey of what poetry means to the person in the street; and the usual quality reviews of poetry collections and pamphlets.
And should the summer turn out to be a damp squib – don’t complain. Read Simon Barraclough’s response to Byron’s poem ‘Darkness’ (published in full) and discover the dystopic nightmare of a never setting sun. I’ll take a few drops of rain any day.
Magma (issue 61 – The Street) is available at £8.60 for a single issue or as a one year subscription (3 issues) at £18.95. If you’d like to buy a copy or submit your poetry (deadline for Magma 62 on the theme of ‘Conversation’ is May 31st) please visit:
After two fantastic nights at the Lost Theatre in February, I just couldn’t bring myself to put the lid on my 5 minute play ‘Alleluiah’. Stephanie James was stunning as Bridget, a woman on the cusp of adultery, walking the fine line between humour and pain brilliantly. So a mini-tour was born. (yes, let’s push the envelope – more than one performance qualifies as a tour!!)
Stephanie performed first at ‘Beyond Words’ in Gipsy Hill, followed by another gig at Loose Muse at the Poetry Cafe. Audiences were warm and appreciative. Watch this space for news of further performances in the coming year.
If you missed the show, here’s a film of ‘Alleluiah’ courtesy of The Lost Theatre: