The natural world has found champions in three recent publications. I’m proud to have poems in each of them.
Now on its 7th issue, Dublin-based Channel offers short fiction, poems, translations and essays which encourage reflection on human interaction with plant and animal life, landscape and the self. To buy, submit or watch the launch video, visit: www.channelmag.org
Broken Sleep Books produced Footprints last year containing ecopoetry from more than 90 poets, including Carrie Etter, Kathryn Bevis, Lisa Kelly, Martyn Crucefix, Michelle Penn, Penelope Shuttle and Suzannah Evans. Anthology co-editor, Charlie Baylis, has also launched Anthropocene as an on-line journal for environmental poetry. In the foreword, Aaron Kent reminds us that it’s “time to act, time to stand up.” A tree will be planted for each copy bought: www.brokensleepbooks.com
Any publication with a fox on its cover, gets my vote! Indigo Dreamshas a close association with the League Against Cruel Sports, which will benefit from profits from the sale of this anthology. To buy a copy visit: www.indigodreamspublishing.com To find out more about the League, go to: www.league.org.uk
Inside the covers you’ll find work by Margaret Atwood, John Clare, Thomas Hardy, Philip Larkin, Pablo Neruda and William Blake, as well as many contemporary poets.
“An issue of a magazine, more so than a collection or anthology, marks its content as belonging to a particular moment in time,” write Channel‘s editors.
“There’s a weightiness to the thought that the work in Issue 5 belongs to a moment in which ways of living and working are hybrid and ever-changing. They align to the flux we find ourselves within, evoking a sense of untetheredness.”
So congratulations to Cassia Gaden Gilmartin and Elizabeth Murtough for bringing together work which reflects the times but avoids the pitfalls of over-stating the obvious. Their biannual print magazine is published in Dublin, and focuses on the interconnection between humans and nature.
Poets in issue 5 include Aiyejinna Abraham O, Pragya Bhagat, Claire Booker, Olga Dugan, Adam van Graan, Cliona O’Connell, Jackson Jesse Nash, Rhona McAdam, Marion Oxley, Cheryl Pearson, Joel Scarfe, Ojo Taiye and Carolyne Wright. Many of the writers are from Ireland, Canada, the United States or the UK, but in this issue alone, there’s also beautiful work from Nigeria, India, South Africa and South Korea.
The magazine also carries three short stories and three essays, including a deeply moving poetic diary of a miscarriage, entitled ‘Snowbird’ by Fergus Hogan.
I love the way Channel launches its issues with a mix of pre-recorded readings by contributors, interspersed with photos, nature videos and art work. You can dip into issue 5’s launch at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie6gJGo7R8I I get to read my two poems at 59 mins 45 secs in.
It’s great to see how young editors are moulding the poetry world. As something of an oldie, I’m especially happy to be part of the new wave of literary magazines, such as the Dublin-based Channel, which are redefining what really matters.
Channel editors Cassia Gaden Gilmartin and Elizabeth Murtough believe the creative arts have a role to play in the challenges we now face as a planet. “Environmentalists know that the biosphere is built on an infinitely complex series of interconnected networks, and that the suppression or destruction of one damages the whole. Social issues are not separate from this connectedness, neither in the immediate effect . . . nor in the cascading consequences of oppression.”
In issue 3, you’ll find poems, essays and short stories by writers selected from a field of over 1,300 submissions. These include Bebe Ashley, Cliodhna Bhreathnach, Claire Booker, Dylan Brennan, David Butler, Julian Brasington, Nancy Cook, Karen Luke Jackson, Uma Menon, Joel Scarfe, Kerry Trautman, Ann V. DeVilbiss, Marcy Rae Henry, Dorsia Smith Silva, Ian Twiddy and Pip Osmond-Williams.
The lively cover for issue 3 is from a Cork-based project funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, which works with young refugees, migrants and youth activists to find imaginative ways to represent their ideas and experiences. You can read about My Generation in the magazine, and also enjoy a ‘guided tour’ of the project on Channel‘s issue 3 zoom launch. Also on the link, is a cornucopia of writers reading their work, including myself (at 1h 38 minutes into the video): http://channelmag.org/issue-3-launch/
Copies are available to buy from the website, or at Dublin, Dingle and Ennistymon book shops.
Natalie Crick, and her co-editors Natalie Nera and Rue Collinge at Fragmented Voices are another set of young women, taking the world of poetry to an interesting place. The language of salt is their first anthology of verse, which is inspired by love and loss.
“This collection is a little soul-machine. It hums,” writes Natalie Crick. “We wanted our final selection of fifty poems to experiment with language and form, to push boundaries. This is not a traditional collection. Our poems confront erotic love, parental love, and the bleaker, darker realities of human affection.”
Poets in the anthology include Derek Adams, Jackie Biggs, Claire Booker, Graham Burchell, Seth Crook, Mike Farren, Kirsty Hollings, Rob A. Mackenzie, Gill McEvoy, Abigail Morley, Cheryl Pearson, Finola Scott, Rob Walton and Simon Williams.
The anthology is selling fast, but there are plans for a re-print, and there’ll be a digital copy of the book available via their on-line shop soon. For more information about Fragmented Voices please visit: https://fragmentedvoices.com/about/