Category Archives: Literary publications

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

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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

The Interpreter’s House – a Celebration

Interpreters House, Martin Malone, Karen Izod 2018Martin Malone tested the limits of heat endurance when he handed over the keys of The Interpreter’s House on a sweltering night at a packed-to-the-rafters event in Nell of Old Drury, Covent Garden.

Celebrating the end of his five year tenure as editor, contributors from issues 67 and 68 waxed lyrical (and sweaty) during an evening both warm in body and heart.

Poets sharing their work included Claire Booker, Rachel Clyne, Sophie Dumont, Janet Hatherley, Pamela Johnson, Gary Jude, Wendy Klein, Candyce Lang, Jeremy Page, Jessica Mookheree, Olivia Tuck, Julia Webb and Ros Woolner, as well as commended poets and the runner-up in this year’s TIH poetry competition – Claire Dyer, Fiona Larkin and Karen Izod (above: with Martin Malone). Interpreter's House issue 68

IH68Launch2The latest issue includes the winning poem ‘Operation Thunderstorm’ by Theophilus Kwek, as well as poems by people who couldn’t make it to the launch such as Josephine Balmer, Robert Crawford, Katie Donovan, Carrie Etter and Robin Houghton. Plus there’s a powerful story by S.P. Hannaway and reviews by Martin Malone, Aoife Lyall, Dawn Gorman and Declan Ryan.

“Poetry’s background music represents an incrementally important soundtrack to what a society is, and in one of the developed world’s most socially unequal, this is no small thing,” says Martin Malone in his final editorial. Out-going Assistant Editor, Charles Lauder Jnr adds: “The goal was and always has been to accept the best writing – strong, surprising, unique, well-crafted, thought-provoking poems and stories.” IH launch 68 - 3

IH68launchIt’s a tough act to follow for new editors Georgi Gill and Andrew Wells, but they’re already on the case. Something like 1,500 submissions will land in their in-tray over the coming weeks, so if you’d like to see one of your poems or short stories in issue 69, check out the website at: The Interpreter’s House

Poetry News goes to the Circus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you Nick Makoha for choosing my poem about a Romanian bear sanctuary as one of the winners in this summer’s Poetry Society Members’ Poems Competition.

Sanctuarul Ursilor joins five strong poems by Sue Davies, Jenny Hamlett, N.J. Hynes, Christopher James and Isabella Mead on the centre pages of Poetry News, with an introduction by Nick about why he chose them.

The theme for the competition was ‘Circus’ and it’s fascinating to see how each of the poets bring their own vision and interpretation of the word, from Cornish rituals and Scottish islands, to Galileo’s observations, and my own take on the theme – the imposition of human traits on wild animals in the name of entertainment.

You can read all the winning poems, including Sanctuarul Ursulor, by clicking the following link: Winning Poems 2018

Poetry News (Summer 2018)Nick Makoha is an accomplished poet who won the 2010 Arvon International Poetry Prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection. His poems have appeared in magazines including The Poetry Review, The New York Times and Wasafiri. “A poem is a world unto itself that, when aligned in the right orbit, will hold our gaze and reveal something new,” writes Nick. “The six poems I have chosen have indeed succeeded by shifting me in time or place.”

Not yet a member of The Poetry Society? Don’t miss out! It’s ludicrously good value AND you’ll be able to enter the next Members’ Competition on the theme of ‘Change’. The judge this time is Meryl Pugh. Deadline for entries is August 6th. If you’re a Poetry Society Member and also part of a Stanza Group, you could also enter this year’s Stanza Competition judged by Penelope Shuttle. The theme is ‘tradition’. Both competition are free to enter.  So time to get writing!

Something Blue from Paper Swans Press

It’s perfect timing for Paper Swans Press as they launch their Pocket Book of Weddings hot on the heels of Harry and Meghan’s historic marriage.

Chris Parsons - Harry WeddingWhile lovers young and old tie the knot this summer season, you can join them in spirit and enjoy twelve beautifully crafted poems celebrating the ups and downs of wedded bliss.

The poems are by Yvonne Baker, Claire Booker, Angela Croft, Olivia Dawson, Hilary Hares, Katie Jukes, Roy Marshall, Linda Menzies, Jill Munro, Estelle Price, Brenda Read-Brown and Lawrence Wilson.

For less than the cost of a box of confetti, why not buy a copy of The Pocket Book of Weddings and have it posted to friends, family or workmates who are getting spliced this year? Or simply sit at home with a glass of sparkling wine, your best hat and enjoy.

Paper Swans WeddingsTo order your copy (price £3.50 plus p&p), or to find out about editor Sarah Miles’ next submissions window, please visit: Paper Swans Press

The Pocket Poetry Book of Weddings is one of a series of pocket sized, themed anthologies published by Paper Swans Press, including: Love, Anger, Suffrage, Cricket, Travel and Cats. More are planned, so watch this space!

Magma 70 – The Europe Issue

Europe means Europe (as Teresa May sadly never said) and Europe in all its complexities is the theme for the Spring issue of Magma, which radiates a raft of continental perspectives. Magma 70

Editors Susannah Hart and Paul Stephenson have steered a careful passage around knee jerk Brexit poetry to produce a subtle, playful and thought-provoking issue, packing in a bumper array of  80 poets, who include: Claire Booker, Steve Boorman, Kit Buchan, Rishi Dastidar, Josh Ekroy, Mark Fiddes, Jan Heritage, Paul Jeffcutt, Jane Kirwan, Wendy Klein, Neetha Kunaratnam, Martin Malone, Richie McCaffery, Katrina Naomi, Ian Pindar, Julian Stannard, William Stephenson, Matthew Sweeney and Claudine Toutoungi.

Magma Europe House 2As selected poet, Anna Kisby (who is a Londoner, now residing in Devon) offers three powerful poems which look at what it means to belong to a place. Richard O’Brien writes a fascinating article on Christopher Fry’s 1973 poem ‘Fanfare for Europe’ written to celebrate Britain’s new alignment with the continent.  The Director of StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival, Eleanor Livingstone, shares her extensive experience of poetry festivals across Europe. And Rosalie Challis writes an emotional response to Marcel Proust – starting out as a short letter poem, but developing into something of a memoir on Franco-cultural life in 1960s London. Magma Europe House 4

Will Stone takes a thoughtful look at the visionary poet, Georg Trakl, an extraordinary talent who emerged from the turmoil (personal and national) of turn of the century Austria-Hungary. Rainer Maria Rilke said of Trakl’s poems: “I have discovered much in them: overwhelmed, amazed, wondering and mystified. I imagine that even one who stands close by must experience such spectacles and perceptions as though pressed, an exile, against a pane of glass.”

Magma Europe House 3

Claire Booker reads her poem ‘Galia Melons’ at Europe House

Through good planning and a piece of Magma magic, the editors were able to secure the perfect location to launch Magma 70 last month –  Europe House in Smith Square. More than half the poets in the issue were able to read their work, which made for a fun and very action packed evening, with some memorable renditions (Kit Buchan and Wendy Klein to name but two).  And of course, Magma wouldn’t be Magma without its poetry review pages, this time with reviews by Claire Crowther, Rishi Dastidar, Michael Loveday and Laurie Smith.                                              To  purchase a copy of Magma 70, or to submit your work to the magazine, please click on: Magma