During the siege of Leningrad, people flocked to the libraries for nourishment. Here, we flock to the supermarkets for toilet rolls. Perhaps the Russians have something to teach us.
I’m fortunate (so far) in having food and books enough. And my contributor’s copy of Dreamcatcher 40 has just arrived, pulsating with verbal and visual treats. It’s Wendy Pratt’s final issue as Editor, and she’s really pushed the boat out.
It includes some cracking short stories: Mark Jarman’s fascinating take on Shanghai; Kevan Youde’s mouth-watering sea voyage; a tale from Down Under by Christian McCulloch and something for Movie buffs from Mark Wasserman.
Poets featured include Claire Booker, Nick Boreham, Pamela Coren, Sandra Galton, Yvonne Hendrie, Michael Henry, Gary Jude, Mark Anthony Kaye, David Lewitzky, Karen Little, Jenny McRobert, Jeremy Platt, Florian Rose, Iain Twiddy and Alessio Zanelli.
The ravishing artwork in this issue has been selected from oil paintings by David Baumforth. Born in York, David’s inspiration is the ‘bitter beauty’ of England’s North East coast. His technique is Turnerian, but the modern visual risk-taker is very much in evidence too.
“I paint how I’ve always painted,” explains Baumforth, “and that’s with a focus on the truth of what I see in front of me. Yorkshire and its coastline are a constant source of inspiration. My last collections are very well received, and though that is gratifying, success or lack of it can be a distraction.”
Wise words indeed. And what fantastic use of colour. Clearly a painter I need to find out more about. So, thank you, Dreamcatcher for introducing him to me.
This issue also carries reviews of Derrida’s Monkey by Nell Farrell, and The Unknown Civilian by Antony Owen. Plus a very handy guide by Alan Gillott to three, on-line resources for writers: Write Out Loud, The Poetry Kit, and Rhyme Zone.
To buy a copy of Dreamcatcher 40, subscribe to the magazine (two issues a year), or check submissions windows, visit: Dreamcatcher