Tag Archives: Claire Crowther

Stand – Indonesia: Special Edition

Stand Vol 17 (1)Poetry is a powerful way to connect with another culture. Succinct, deeply felt, immediate – poems reveal new ways of looking, the heart of a people.

Following my experiences in Bangladesh (see previous post), I’m now delighting in Stand’s  snapshot of poets from the world’s fourth most populous nation, Indonesia.

According to a fascinating article by John H. McGlynn, “poetry is arguably the most essential of all the Indonesian literary genres, enjoying as it does a status far above that of even the novel.”

Stand Vol 17 (1)_0003The literary traditions of the Malay language (mother of Indonesian) go back to at least 400 AD, and there are exquisite palm-leaf manuscripts in the shape of fans to prove this. The transformation of Malay into ‘Indonesian’, first  proposed in 1928 by members of the Youth Congress, accomplished linguistic unity in a country where more than 600 languages are still spoken today. Stand Vol 17 (1)_0004

So, it’s a great honour to have two of my own poems published in this issue, alongside other anglophone poets, including Shanta Acharya, Richard Aronowitz, Claire Crowther, Ian Harker, Keith J. Hutson, Sonia Jarema, John McCullogh, Jo-ann Mort and Pat Winslow.

The contributions from Indonesia in this issue are a hard act to follow – bold and daring, and particularly engaging in their commitment to powerful emotion and a strong sense of the absurd. The Indonesian poets include Mario Lawi (tans. John H McGlynn), Warih Wisatsana (trans. C W Watson), M. Aan Mansur (trans. John H McGlynn), and Avianti Armand (trans. John H McGlynn). 

And Stand also includes short pieces of prose from both UK/USA based writers and Indonesian writers, together with reviews of Donald Levering’s ‘Previous Lives’ by David Latane, and Ken Smith’s Collected Poems by  N.S. Thompson.

To buy a copy of Stand Volume 17(1) or to submit work to the magazine, visit: www.standmagazine.org

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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.”

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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