Call for Guernsey ‘Poems on the Move’

guernsey poetry bus (2)If you’d love to see your words riding a Guernsey bus for a season, there’s still time to enter the 2019 International Guernsey Poetry Competition.

I was lucky enough to be a Poems on the Move Open winner last year (congrats to Josh Ekroy, Jonathan Edwards and Peter Wallis for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes). The selection was made by Daljit Nagra, and my poem ‘On Beacon Hill’ has been busy zooming around this lovely Channel island on one of its yellow buses. Poems on the Move (enhanced)

Other winners (in three categories) sharing bus space, include Zilla Bowes, Lyra Davies, Scott Elder, Sue Proffitt, Alexander Soulsby, Simon Rees-Roberts and Anthony Watts. 

“I was impressed by the range of poetry that seemed to touch on every subject imaginable,” says Daljit Nagra in his judge’s summary. “I appreciated the discipline of the many poets who wrote succinctly and vividly remembering that the power of poetry lies in its turn of phrase, in its lively associations between unusual things, so that in a few words the reader can be held and transported at once.”

Guernsey busTo read poems by the current winners, or to enter the 2019 competition, please visit: Poems on the Move. Entries must arrive by January 15th and could win you top prize of £1,000. This year’s competition will be judged by Bloodaxe poet Maura Dooley. She’s looking for poems of 14 lines or fewer, and that will fit on a single page of A4.

And if you’re planning a trip to Guernsey – perhaps for the International Literary Festival (1-6th May) – you may want to check out the buses on the island and read some of the winning poems while you stock up on potato peel pie!  

More information at: Guernsey Buses  and Guernsey Literary Festival

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Elbow Room has Sublimed

Elbow Room Issue 20As we go forward into the new year, ElbowRoom waves its beautiful pages in a gesture of farewell.

This lovingly hand-crafted gem has given the literary scene 20 issues of poetry, short prose and artwork, plus some fantastically enjoyable launch parties. It has earned the right to rest on its laurels. ElbowRoom Live

The brainchild of artist/writer, Rosie Sherwood, (ably assisted by poet Zelda Chappel), Elbowroom launched in April 2012 and became something of a trend-setter in the world of hand-made art journals.

More than 100 writers have graced its pages. Poets published in this final volume (issue 20) are James Bell, Claire Booker, Christy Hall, Roger Hare, Oz Hardwick and Stella Wulf. The photographic artworks are by Bethany Murray and Rosie Sherwood. Elbow Room Issue 20 by Rosie Sherwood

“In the introduction to the first volume of Elbow Room, I wrote about coming across a hand-painted sign for a bookshop so tiny it only had space for a desk and one over-flowing bookcase,” says Rosie Sherwood.

“Despite the size of the shop, they had divided the shelves into fiction, poetry, illustration, photography etc. I found myself frustrated that art, visual and written, is not allowed to sit together more regularly. This was the birth of Elbow Room.”

You can still buy some Elbow Room back-numbers by visiting the As Yet Untitled website. Although its flagship publication, Elbow Room, has now sublimed, As Yet Untitled will continue to specialise in limited edition, handmade works that embrace the breadth of possibility in book form, from traditional binding techniques to sculptural works.

Good luck Rosie, and all who sail with you!

Check out the latest developments at As Yet Untitled

South Bank Poetry is 10 Years Old

South Bank Poetry (issue 30)_0002Poetry magazines aren’t notable for their longevity. It takes dedication and sheer bloody mindedness (I suspect) to keep jumping those hurdles, year after year.

So a massive thumbs-up to Peter Ebsworth and Katherine Lockton for steering their ever-popular magazine into its second decade. By sheer fluke, I have two poems in the 10th anniversary issue, which in a lovely way, gives me a direct connection with that celebration.

Due to prior commitments, I wasn’t able to attend the launch of South Bank Poetry (issue 30) at the Poetry Place, but by all accounts it was an evening to remember. Many contributors attended and read their poems. For those of us who weren’t able, there was a special treat in store. The actress Annette Badland (Hazel of Archer’s fame), kindly agreed to perform our work. SBP Annette Badland reads At Risk Child 18

Having heard her read another of my poems last year in the Actor’s Church, Covent Garden, as part of the Out of Place music project, I know just how well she uses that intelligent voice of hers to bring out every nuance in a piece of poetry.

Contributors to the 10th anniversary issue include Jim Alderson, Tessa Berring, Leonardo Boix, Claire Booker, Oliver Comins, Daniel Loudon, Joel Scarfe, Paul Stephenson, Joe Wedgbury and Heidi Williamson.

“We would like to thank all our contributors to this issue, as well as all the poets who have sent us their work over the last ten years,” writes Katherine Lockton in the intro. We would be nothing without you. Over the years we have seen poets published in our magazine go on to become poetry superstars. We are so proud of what you have all achieved and continue to accomplish.”

South Bank Poetry (issue 30)_0001I can think of no better encomium for the magazine, than that written by the poet, journalist and travel writer, Hugo Williams: “I have always enjoyed South Bank Poetry for its unexpected mix of strange and traditional, lyrical and political, young, old and odd, so I don’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone remotely interested in the art. It is just a very good money’s worth and will last.”

How prescient he turns out to be. A hearty thanks to Peter and Katherine for giving us a decade of happy reading. Here’s to the next ten years (and more)!

To buy a copy of the magazine, or submit your own work, please check: www.southbankpoetry.co.uk

The Spectator and I

Spectator (Dec 1st 2018)_0001Thank you to Hugo Williams for including one of my poems in this week’s Spectator magazine (Dec 1st issue).

The Spectator may not be everyone’s cup of tea politically, but it gets serious marks for including not one, but two (and sometimes even three), contemporary poems EVERY WEEK in its pages.  How many newspapers or main stream magazines can say as much?

And what’s heartening, is those poems are not always by the literary glitterati. Which means that anyone can have a chance to be enjoyed by 80,000 plus readers – so long as the poem is interesting enough to be selected.

In this issue, you can read loads on the arts, including poems by John Mole, Nicola Healey and Claire Booker, an interview with best-selling author Sam Leith, advice on buying modern art (out of my price range, alas!), book, TV, theatre and dance reviews, including Michele Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and a feature on the history of Art Deco. You also get Spectator Life magazine thrown in for good measure, which includes a highly entertaining interview with comedienne and former advisor to a number of Labour leaders, Ayesha Hazarika. Spectator (Dec 1st 2018)_0002

If you’d like your work to be considered, send a small selection of poems (on paper only) to Hugo Williams, c/o The Spectator, Arts and Books, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP.

 

 

Dream Catcher 37 is Out!

Dreamcatcher (issue 37)“Poetry produces many delights,” writes editor, John Gilham, in the foreword of the latest Dreamcatcher. And indeed, he’s right. This is a lively collection of poetry, fiction and artwork on the big themes of love, vengeance, nature, mystery, illness and death (among others!)

Poets who appear in issue 37 include Claire Booker, CM Buckland, Angela Cooke, Kieran Egan, Sally Festing, Daniel Gustaffson, Oz Hardwick, Tony McCabe, Mike McNamara, Ali Pardoe, Natalie Scott, Kenneth Durham Smith, Iain Twiddy, Tom Vaughan, Linda Lee Welch and Alice West.

The issue kicks off with a selection of poetry which featured at Poetry For All – an evening of work from poets living with hearing impairment, blindness or autism. Donna Williams’ work I admired in particular, especially her poem ‘These hands are bigger than the sky’. Diversity enrichens all our reading experience.

There are also short stories by Merryn Williams, Eleanor Porter, Alison Mordey, Stewart J Lowe, John Vale, Angelica Krikler and Gay McKenna among others.

Dreamcatcher reviews this issue include Paula McLain’s genre-bending book Flights of Fancy: Circling the Sun on women aviators; Pam Zinnemann-Hope’s first collection from Ward Wood Publishing; and Miller Oberman’s mixing of his own poetry with his translations of Old English poems, in his collection The Unstill Ones.

And what a lovely inter-weaving of featured artist Freya Horsely’s boldly impressionistic and colourfully dexterous work.

To purchase a copy of Dream Catcher Magazine (issue 37) or to find out how to submit your work, please visit: Dream Catcher and Stairwell Books

Popshot 21 – the Dream Issue

Popshot issue 21 - Adamastor Studio_0002I dreamt I had a poem published in Popshot then woke up and found I really did!  A quarterly magazine of flash fiction, poetry and short stories mouth-wateringly illustrated by more than 20 cutting-edge artists – that’s what dreams are made of.Popshot issue 21 - Adamastor Studio_0005

Each issue of Popshot works to a theme and draws submissions from across the globe. I find myself returning to old issues time and time again. It’s a picture book for adults with imagination and flair – a genuine treat to read, pulsing with the unexpected.

The current (Dream) issue is headlined by Hodder author Lydia Ruffles. There are haunting stories about hemiplegia, a giant squid and a Texan ghost by Jeremy Adam Smith, Jenny Holden and Joe Giordano ; flash fiction by Alice Ash and Jack Somers; as well as poetry by Claire Booker, Rachel Bower, Jo Brandon, Helen Cox, Michelle Marie Earl, Audrey Molloy and Emma Tilley, among others.

Popshot issue 21 - Adamastor Studio_0001Plus so many gorgeous illustrations – among my favourites Adamastor Studio’s depiction of my poem ‘Butterfly Night’ (see above); Elisa Puglielli’s neat block work; the fluid lines of Joanna Layla’s ‘Chosen’; black & white pointillist portraits by Renzo Razzetto; Charlie Davis’ ravishing colour palette; and the surreal impact of Jorn Kaspuhl’s work. Not to mention those cute otter cubs gambolling over front and back cover by Vector That Fox.

A £20 subscription buys you four issues a year plus free access to Popshot’s digital archives of more than 500 stories.  Can you afford to be without it?

Popshot issue 21 - Adamastor Studio_0004Editor Laura Silverman and Art Editor Alicia Fernandes operate submissions windows and would love to see your work (words or visual) as soon as the next theme is set.

For updates go to @popshotmag, or email hello@popshotpopshot.com, or visit: Popshot Magazine

Magma 71 – the Film Issue

Magma 71“Poetry and Film make wonderful bedfellows,” proclaims the editorial in the summer issue of Magma. The 62 poems within its pages are testimony to that.

Poets selected for the final wrap of Magma 71 include Patricia Ace, Claire Booker, Matthew Caley, Kristi Carter, Michael Conley, Frank Dullaghan, Pat Edwards, Carrie Etter,  Katie Evans-Bush, Jamie Field, Nick Garrard, Kevin Higgins, Mingpei Li, Roisin Kelly, Andrew McMillan, Kathy Pimlott, Kate Rutter, Rosie Shepperd and Greta Stoddart.

Magma 71 - Cinema MuseumCo-editors Cheryl Moskowitz and Stav Poleg have curated a celebration of the cinematic qualities so often found in good poetry – a rich coupling of word and image. But they were also keen to travel beyond the page and connect poets with filmmakers to allow new creations to emerge. 

Enter the University of Edinburgh, Emma Davie at the Edinburgh College of Art and Lucy Kendra and Jennifer Williams at the Festival of Creative Learning. The collaboration has resulted in a number of powerful film poems. So often poetry is a lone wolf, but Magma have increasingly extended the hand of creative friendship to make fascinating new links.

Magma 71 - launchOne such link is with The Cinema Museum in Kennington, which opened its doors for a stunning launch of Magma 71 last month. I urge you, if you can, to visit this amazing museum, set inside the old workhouse where Charlie Chaplin and family took refuge. Magma 71 (The Cinema Museum)

As a huge Chaplin fan, it was incredibly moving to read my poem in the very place where he must have known despair and hunger, never imagining that his genius would later be celebrated in the self same cavernous building. To learn more or lend your support (there’s talk of closure) visit: The Cinema Museum

Magma 71 - KenningtonAs well as contributor readings, we were treated to an exhilarating range of poetry films from the expressionist, right through to more traditional ‘illustrative’ approaches. You can view these films at the Magma website now.

Back to paper and pages. Inside Magma 71 you’ll find work by highlighted poet Liz Lefroy; winning poems from the Magma 2017/18 competition; reviews by Jade Cuttle, Lisa Kelly and Andrew Neilson; analysis by Professor Peter William Evans of films including The Red Shoes and Il Postino in the light of poetics; Lucy Ingrams’ article on why reading Elizabeth Bishop is like going to the cinema; and a commissioned poem by Caroline Bird inspired by Rebecca E Marshall’s film Fever of the Light.

To echo Cheryl Moskowitz’s own sign off: “Find yourself a seat, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the issue!”

To buy a copy of Magma 71, submit your own work or view the film poems, please visit: Magma