The latest issues of Dreamcatcher and Artemis Poetry remind me how symbiotic art and poetry can be.
As well as poems by Claire Booker, Mark Czanik, Alwyn Gornall, Geoffrey Loe, Marie Papier, Penny Sharman and Phil Vernon among others, Dreamcatcher #46 features a striking cover and five arresting images by David Finnigan.
Colourful and precisionistic, Finnigan’s work breaks up the surface of two superimposed compositions to reprocess the order and create something new with a different rhythm. “These represent a change in the direction of my working practice,” says Finnigan. “They embrace some of the techniques I have learned and developed in my other non-visual creative outlets, particularly from the world of sound.”
The images are spread across the issue, offering a kind of firebreak between words – a pause to let you absorb the resonances of shared meaning.
Dreamcatcher 46 is edited by Hannah Stone and published by Stairwell Books twice a year. If you’d like to buy a copy of the magazine, or submit your poems, short fiction or book reviews, please visit http://www.dreamcatchermagazine.co.uk
Artemis Poetry offers generous space to a a wide range of artwork, together with poetry, articles, and reviews by women writers. In issue 29, there are black & white photos by Anna Dear, Reyna Berry and Patricia Brody; delicate line drawings by Andria J Cooke and Gabrielle O’Donovan; and humorous Beryl Cooke style work from the indefatigable Caro Reeves. There’s also news from Second Light, book reviews, and interviews with poets Sarah Corbett, Rebecca Goss, Angela Leighton, Lorraine Mariner and Kay Syrad on how they are moving forward with their work.
Poets in this issue include Annie Wright (featured), prize winners from the Second Light Poetry Competition (Kathryn Bevis, Jane Routh) as well as poetry selected by Lyn Moir, which includes the work of Isabel Bermudez, Claire Booker, Marian de Vooght, Mary Robinson, Marjorie Sweetko and Judith Wozniak.
Three cheers for Dreamcatcher – that ray of sunshine blazing out of Yorkshire twice a year with poems, short stories, reviews and fine art.
The literary mag started life as founding editor Paul Sutherland’s degree project, and was later taken on by Stairwell Books, gained Arts Council funding and Lottery money, and is still true to its original vision of a multi-ethnic, eclectic space for writing. The current editor, Hannah Stone, continues its fine tradition for open-mindedness with a penchant for narrative above abstract.
Poets in issue 43 include Claire Booker, Annemarie Cooper, Seth Crook (using the intriguing nom de plume Bruach Kandinsky Mhor!), Peter Datyner, Wilf Deckner, Marilyn Donovan, Tim Dwyer, Ann Gibson, Oz Hardwick, Hilary Hares, Jenny Hockey, Graham Mort, Carolyn Oulton, David Sapp, Kate Scott, Mary Anne Smith Sellen, Pat Simmons, Jean Stevens, and Sue Watling.
There’s a generous supply of short fiction too, from Connie Bott, Rosamund Davies, Tom Dixen, Mary Earnshaw, Colette Longbottom, David McVey and Holly Sykes. Plus the featured artist for this issue is Beth Ross.
This is where the plush paper Dreamcatcher is printed on really comes into play – four colour plates of Ross’s work look good enough to frame. Dare I deface my issue to do so? For the moment, I’m leaving the issue face-forward on my book shelf so I can admire the cover, entitled ‘Where is the Blue Canary’. Where indeed?
“Asking the artist to explain the finished work . . . can be like dancing to architecture, ” writes Dreamcatcher editorial board member, Greg McGee in his introduction to Beth Ross.
“The painter relies wholly on the visual experience of the viewer for connection. Any subsequent verbal vindication is dangerously reminiscent of the gibberish that increasingly haunts art criticism. Not everything needs an explanation or closure.”
Amen to that! Even titles can be an awkward burden, though I rather like ‘Pouty Frothy Ethereal Sea’ for Ross’s picture (above).
It’s still not too late to submit to issue 44 if you have poems, stories or book reviews ready in the wings. Closing date 30th August, so get your skates on. Paper copies only please, sent to The Editor, or the Book Reviews Editor, at 109 Wensley Drive, Leeds LS7 2LU.
If you write about nature, here are two great places to submit. I’m happy to have poems in Words for the Wild (surely one of the most visually delightful webzines going), and also in Fenland Poetry Journal, an elegant printed magazine edited by Elizabeth Sennitt Clough.
“The poems contained in this issue are textured with the ‘tremor of leaf play’ and ‘plosive bubble-threads – they are alive. They are creaturely.” says Sennitt Clough in her editorial for issue 4.
Poets in the spring issue include: Briony Bax, Kathryn Bevis, Sharon Black, Claire Booker, Dagne Forrest, Anna Maria Mickiewicz, Sarah Mnatzaganian, DA Prince, Hannah Stone, Charles Ulyatt, Louise Warren and Gareth Writer-Davies.
Fittingly, the Fenland Poetry Journal (like its previous incarnation, The Fenland Reed) comes to you from wind-swept, sky-rich Cambridgeshire. The magazine is published twice a year. For information about submissions windows, or to buy a copy, please visit: www.fenlandpoetryjournal.co.uk
Words for the Wild has built up a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated poems and short stories on a wide range of subjects that hold at their centre, the natural world. It’s edited by Amanda Oosthuizen and Louise Taylor, who both actively campaign to protect the countryside.
You can submit previously published work to their quarterly themed pages, or brand new work to their general pages.
The current theme (still open for submissions) is Gerald Durrell and his work as a conservationist. To read my poem ‘At the Bear Sanctuary’, please click on the following link: https://wordsforthewild.co.uk/?page_id=13306 This also allows you to scroll to other work within the site, including cracking poems by Kevin Cahill, Rebecca Gethin, Lisa Kelly and SA Leavesley, to name just a few.