Tag Archives: Claire Booker

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!

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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

 

Prole – Wales’ answer to a wet Sunday

Prole issue 25_0001It’s always a pleasure to open a copy of Prole magazine which celebrates its silver anniversary with issue 25. Editors Brett Evans and Phil Robertson have a keen eye for poetry that punches its weight yet remains accessible.

Poets featured in this spring issue include Ndonwie Muma Alain, Juliet Antill, Claire Booker, Richard Hillesley, Jennifer A. McGowan, Laura McKee, Arji Manuelpillai, Robert Nisbet, DA Prince, Charley Reay, Gareth Writer-Davis and Stella Wulf.

You can also read the winning poems from The Prole Laureate Poetry competition 2018, judged by Kate Garrett: “My favourite poems always have three things; musicality, exceptionality, and heart. I love words that chime well together, unforced.”

Louise Warren wins outright with her beautiful and mysterious poem The Marches. I was very lucky to hear her perform this poem recently at More Poetry in the City of London. The poem works just as beautifully orally as it does on the page. The runner-up is Mary Gilonne with her touching poem extra-marital morning on the edge of nowhere. Third prize winner Bruce Marsland offers a witty (and unsettling) post-apocalyptic take, toolbox for the penultimate age.  Prole issue 25_0002

And of course, as always in Prole, there are short stories too, plus cartoonist Sparx is on hand with more tongue in cheek humour. So plenty to occupy you if (when?) the weather takes a turn for the worse.

To buy a copy of Prole (issue 25), to submit your own work, or to consider entering the Prole Pamphlet Competition 2018, please visit: Prole 

 

Chroma Magazine – the Red Issue

Chroma 1 coverThe first issue of Chróma launched this winter and features an intoxicating fusion of contemporary poets, thinkers, artists and photographers with one uniting factor, the colour red.  Now, editor Emma Phillips is looking for work inspired by orange.

I was lucky enough to be invited to read at Chróma’s launch party in Brighton’s ONCA Gallery where a packed crowd enjoyed a stunning exhibition of photos and printed word material, then listened to poems and specially composed music.  Chroma 1c

Chroma 1dThe sheer quality of this inaugural magazine is a ravishment to eyes and brain alike. It’s a visual wow as well as being elegantly rammed full of intellectual and emotional surprises.  

My fellow contributors to the first issue include: poets Lydia Bowden, Chiyuma Elliott, Katie Munnik and Constantin Preda; stunning artwork by Karl-Joel Larsson, Darby Milbrath and Coco Davez; and mind-altering photography by Tekla Evelina Severin, Keegan Grandbois, Laurence Philomene, Mary Chen and Sophie Harris-Taylor. There are also in-depth feature articles on subjects as diverse (though thematically linked) as the meat industry, menstrual taboo, self-harm; plus interviews with artists such as Cleon Peterson and film-maker Greta Bellamacina. Chroma 1 There’s even room in Chróma’s 124 generous sized pages for short-stories by Gwen Myers and Colette Coen.

“2017 was a year of blood, shooting, wild-fire and extreme politics,” says Emma Phillips. “Despite this, the magazine also explores the beauty of red through its relationship to love, landscape, lipsticks and gender. In the West, red may mean anger, but in the East, it is a sign of vitality and fertility. It is the colour of happiness, worn by brides at their wedding and hung vibrantly across their streets and temples.” Chroma + poem

To order your copy of  the Red issue of Chróma, please visit the following link: Chroma To submit work inspired by the colour orange, email Emma at submission@chromamagazine.com 

Paper Swans Pocket Book of Love

Pocket Book of LoveAs inflation continues to gouge lumps out of our wallets, Paper Swans have come up with a winning formula – a pocket book series of poetry priced £3.50 each.

First off the press is The Pocket Book of Love, which contains 12 short poems by Yvonne Baker, Charlotte Begg, Claire Booker, Carole Bromley, Sami Cox, Olivia Dawson, Olga Dermott-Bond, Maria Isakova-Bennett, Karen Izod, Linda Kurowski, Fokkina McDonnell and Claire Walker.

It’s a little gem of concision, put together by editor Sarah Miles. If you’re too busy, or too shy, to pop one in the post to a loved one, Paper Swans Press will do this for you. Weighing less than 100g, it goes standard class, and is even more fun than receiving a postcard.

Next in the series is Anger – (careful who you send that one to!) with pocket books of poetry on Women’s Suffrage, Gardening, Cricket and Weddings in the pipeline.

If you’d like to buy a copy of The Pocket Book of Love please visit this link: Pocket Book of Love  Or to find out more about Paper Swans Press click on: Paper Swans Press

It’s not too late to submit your own work for the Gardening, Cricket and Weddings pocket books. Poems should be a maximum of 12 lines and can have been published elsewhere.  Pocket Book of Love  Pocket Book of LovePocket Book of LoveCloses March 31st.

Stand Magazine – a rolling landscape of lines

Stand 15 (4)If page shape, layout and typeset matter in the enjoyment of reading poetry (which I believe they do), then Stand is surely one of the most pleasurable of literary magazines. I simply love the generous, landscape look of it, with space enough for the longest of line lengths.

Of course, content is crucial too. The winter issue offers an eclectic mix of poems from Gary Allen, Claire Booker, Sean O’Brien, Vahni Capildeo, Anne Fitzgerald, John Gohorry, mystic poet Hafez (translated by Mario Petrucci), Matt Howard, Dan MacIsaac, David Redgrave, Anne Stevenson and J. Twm, among others.

There are thought-provoking, cross-genre offerings, including Anne Stevenson’s piece of prose (or is it poetry?) (or both?) which examines the context of her poem Sandi Russell Sings. Another genre-bending piece is David Sheshkin’s intriguing Modern Art which concocts four reviews of an avant-garde artist, so close to the real thing, that I’m still left wondering.

Associate editor, David Latane, reminds us that ‘little magazines’ can often punch above their weight, giving examples of Wyndham Lewis’ Blast and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s Germ to illustrate his point. Thanks to founding editor, John Silkin’s original premise, Stand has been a significant player in the world of contemporary literature since 1952.

Stand Simon Armitage ArchiveStand is produced by The University of Leeds’ English Department, so it’s no surprise to find an article about their very own Poetry Professor, Simon Armitage, in this issue, including facsimile copies of pages from his red notebook used when walking the Pennine Way.

There are some muscular and entertaining pieces of flash by Michael Cadnum, a short story by John Siberry and reviews by Martin Malone, Rachel Bower and Tony Roberts.

To buy a copy of Issue 15 (4), take out a subscription or find out how to submit your work, please click on the following link: Stand Magazine

Latest from Poetry Salzburg Review

Poetry Salzburg Review 31It’s always a joy when Poetry Salzburg Review drops onto my door mat, with its Austrian postmark,  gloriously surreal cover and meaty, 180 or so pages of new poetry, translations, reviews and interviews.

Issue 31 is a particular treat for me, as it contains two of my poems, alongside work by Jackie Wills, Sean O’Brien, Robert Peake, Hugo Ball (writer of the Dada Manifesto and co-founder of the infamous Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich 1916), Carole Bromley, James Caruth, Jessica Mookherjee, John Lyons, Richard Skinner, Ruth Bidgood, Marjorie Sweetko and Robert Hampson, among many others.

There’s a good selection of international work in this issue, including poets with connections to South Africa, America, Australia, Canada, Trinidad, India, Cuba, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Mexico, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It’s refreshing to hear voices and styles informed by very different cultural backgrounds.  

Poetry Salzburg Review is ” one of the most stimulating eclectic and certainly international outlets for quality contemporary poetry,” says the poetry magazine’s newest editorial board member, Keith Hutson. He joins Vahni Capildeo, Robert Dassanowsky and editor Wolfgang Görtschacher in selecting what goes into the bi-annual magazine.  Poetry Salzburg Review 31With several thousand submissions a year, this is no easy matter, but Hutson is clear about the task. “It seems to me that the journal’s only aim is to find and publish poetry that feels important – whatever the subject matter – and in the search for these poems, established writers are welcomed and new writers are celebrated.”

This issue has a fascinating interview with novelist and poet Elaine Feinstein, whose many impressive credits include translating the brilliant Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva, thus helping to secure her a place in the cannon of great women poets writing in a language other than English. I for one am hugely grateful to her.

Issue 31 also offers readers fourteen late sonnets (most of them previously unpublished) by the poet Peter Russell, who was a protégé of TS Elliott and long-term correspondent with Ezra Pound. Plus a chance to read a generous selection of work by the recently deceased Frances Galleymore.

Poetry Salzburg Review is published twice yearly. To submit your own work, or buy a copy of Autumn 2017 (issue 31) or take out a subscription, click on the following link: Poetry Salzburg Review