Tag Archives: Alison Brackenbury

Donald Trump has read Magma 67

Magma 67In a parallel universe, Donald Trump has read Magma’s Bones & Breath issue and is discovering that poetry can bite back!

In their introduction to the issue, co-editors Rob A Mackenzie and A.B. Jackson ask “how can poetry bring fresh perspective in the face of socio-political crisis?” Five poets attempt an answer in a though-provoking feature that’s a must-read in the aftermath of Brexit and Trump.

Making something happen within its ice-cool pages are voices from across the globe including Caroline Bird, Claire Booker, Alison Brackenbury, Vahni Capildeo, Martyn Crucefix, Isobel Dixon, John Greening, Anja Konig, Stav Poleg, Richard Price and David Wheatley.

Ilya Kaminsky’s searing poems ‘The Map of Bone and Opened Valves’ and ‘Our Boys Drag a Soldier into a Sunlit Piazza’ bring the banal horror of contemporary war into subtle and devastating perspective. Asif Khan, Dzifa Benson, Alistair Noon, Theodoros Chiotis, Eleanor Livingstone and Juana Adcock share their thoughts on Brexit and Poetry and there is explosive wordplay from selected poet Holly Corfield Carr including her ‘Z’ – a highly inventive riff on letters of the alphabet.

Magma 67 launchA Magma launch is always a gold star event in the calendar, so I was thrilled to be one of the contributors invited to read in front of a buzzing audience packing the L -shaped London Review Bookshop in central London.

Performing page poetry can be something of a challenge, but we were lucky to enjoy a range of voices, including the poised and incisive Martin Crucefix, a delightfully bubbly Alison Brackenbury and bucket loads of wit from Nicki Heinen and  Holly Corfield Carr.

Issue 67 continues Magma’s series of inviting poets to create a new poem in response to work by their favourite poet. In this issue, it’s Guggenheim Award winner Cate Marvin who was inspired by Charlotte Mew’s ‘The Quiet House’ to create her own homage in the shape of ‘My Father’s Liquor Cabinet’.

Magma 67 launch“The Quiet House contains one of my all-time favorite poetic statements: ‘A rose can stab you from across the street/ deeper than any knife’.” says Cate Marvin. “I wanted to chose a poet that not everyone might be familiar with because this is one of the pleasures we can provide for one another as readers.

“It’s times like these [Trump’s election] that we truly need poetry. Not just to read it, but to write it, and write a lot of it. . . . My sense of the impact of the election is that Americans (half of us anyway) now know what it feels like to be an exile in one’s own country.”

Claire Crowther, Katy Evans Bush, Lisa Kelly and Jon Sayers review some of the latest poetry fare, including ‘Float’ by Anne Carson, ‘Sunshine’ by Melissa Lee-Houghton, ‘The Further Adventures of the Lives of the Saints’ by Patrick Mackie, and ‘Noir’ by Charlotte Gann.

To buy a one off copy of Magma 67, order a subscription to the magazine, or check on submission windows, please visit: www.magmapoetry.com

Cover : Bahar Yurukoglu.

Advertisements

Poems, reviews, short fiction in Under the Radar

The alphabet’s been good to me. I was born with a ‘B’ in my mouth, which means I get to be one of the front runners in alphabetically organised lists through no skill of my own.

Under the Radar (issue 16)Uncommonly for a literary magazine, Under the Radar chooses to present its poetry in alphabetical order. You’d think this would make an awkward flow of poems, kicking randomly against each other. But no; in issue 16, more than fifty poems weave their content, style and layout with panache, offering a truly invigorating read. How did editor Jane Commane manage that?

And  there’s the added advantage that it’s easier to track a poet you know or want to read for a second time if all the work is alphabetically arranged.

Writers in issue 16 include Claire Booker, Natalie Burdett, Andrew Button, Rishi Dastidar, Chris Dodd, Charlotte Gann, James Giddings, Chris Hardy, Jenny Hope, Brian Johnstone, Martin Malone, Joan Michelson, Fiona Moore, Angela Readman, Martin Reed, Marion Tracy and Julia Webb.

There are a couple of short stories, plus thirteen well-argued reviews from Kathleen Bell, Alison Brackenbury, Kim Moore, Pam Thompson, Deborah Tyler-Bennett and Charles Whalley. The clever money appears to be on, among others, Josephine Corcoran’s The Misplaced House; Steve Ely’s Englaland; Kim Moore’s The Art of Falling; Peter Riley’s Due North; and John Tait’s Barearse Boy.

To buy a copy of Under the Radar (Issue 16) or to submit your own work (the current window for short fiction and poetry closes on 30th April) please visit: www.ninearchespress.com

Smoking Can Seriously Help the Homeless

Genius Floored (Whispers in Smoke)_0002Or more specifically, Genius Floored: Whispers in Smoke can seriously help keep homeless men and women off the streets this winter, and give them real hope in 2015.

Genius Floored (Whispers in Smoke)A fistful of famous poets, together with regulars at the Camden and Lumen monthly poetry series events, have donated poems which are included in this year’s anthology, edited by Ruth O’Callaghan and published by Soaring Penguin.

Yes, POETRY does make things happen!

Featured poets include Dannie Abse, Fleur Adcock, Alison Brackenbury, Ruth O’Callaghan, Fiona Sampson, Anne Stevenson and George Szirtes,  as well as RV Bailey, Claire Booker, Josh Ekroy, Daphne Gloag, Barry Jones,  Jeremy Kingston and Caroline Smith.

All proceeds from the sale of this year’s anthology will be donated to Caris Camden, which administers Camden cold-weather shelters for the homeless.

To purchase a copy of Genius Floored:Whispers in Smoke please click on the following link http://www.soaringpenguinpress.com

To find out more about Camden and Lumen poetry events check out:  http://www.camdenlumen.wordpress.com

Passion on the beach (doggy style) in The North

A man and a woman meet on a windswept Northumberland beach, but it’s their dogs that lock eyes and find passion!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My poem, Coitus at Bamburgh Beach, is one of  139 poems selected by guest editors Jonathan Davidson and Jackie Wills for inclusion in the latest issue of The North poetry magazine. Poets published in issue 52 include Paul Stephenson, Katrina Naomi, Alison Brackenbury, Caroline Smith, Holly Hopkins, Ian McMillan, Claire Booker, James Caruth and Matt Bryden.

At a handy £8, issue 52 must be among the best value ever for poetry-lovers, working out at the staggeringly good value of 6p per new poem. Plus there’s a fascinating discussion between Patience Agbabi and Ros Barber about their mould-breaking collections – respectively Telling Tales (Canongate Books) which re-envisions Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and The Marlowe Papers (Sceptre) a stunning verse novel which takes as its premise the idea that Marlowe actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

North (issue 52)Issue 52 also has articles on whether poetry in the UK needs to become more international in scope; the harsh economics facing the poetry industry; and interviews with three fine artists about their experience of reading poetry as non-poets.  Plus 39 pages of poetry reviews!

To buy a copy of The North or to submit poetry, please visit: www.poetrybusiness.co.uk

Magma’s out! 69 fresh poems for summer

Magma 59Totally thrilled to have another poem in Magma, which meant I got to read my work at the launch last Friday alongside guest poets Lorraine Mariner and Colette Bryce and some delightful fellow contributors, including Alison Brackenbury, Katie Byford, Rowena Knight, Abigail Morley, Ruth O’Callaghan and Mathew Paul.

More than 100 people squeezed into The London Review Bookshop to celebrate Magma 59‘s fresh new take on the theme of ‘Breaks’ by a wide range of poets including Mimi Khalvati and Penelope Shuttle.  The issue crackles with originality. Titles alone make your mouth water, including: ‘Apartment Hunting With the Lady Who Lives in A Shoe’, ‘The Half-Litre Messiah’, ‘The Doll With a Hole in its Hand’ and ‘Mal de Cou-Cou’.

“After poems of great delicacy and eggshells come others of metal and grind,” Giaccometti - Walking Woman 2write editors Roberta James and Alex Pryce. “Already familiar with powerful lines like Sylvia Plath’s “Now I break up in pieces that fly about like clubs” and Tennyson’s rending elegy Break, Break, Break, we were all the same surprised by the extraordinary range of tone and far-reaching subject matter [in this issue].”

My own poem ‘Model in Love’ was written during a workshop at Tate Modern, inspiringly led by Pascale Petit. We were allowed to handle (with cotton gloves!) a number of sculptures, including a beautiful work by Alberto Giacometti entitled Walking Woman.

Magma 59 launch at London Review of BooksMagma 59 is available from www.magmapoetry.com  or from selected book stores. Indulge yourself in poetry heaven and enjoy features such as John Humphrys on Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est, Colette Bryce interviewed about her poem The Brits, and Andrew Neilson’s view of poetry on e-readers. Plus reviews by Laurie Smith, George Szirtes and Jennifer Wong.  A steal at £8.60 including p&p!