Tag Archives: Lisa Kelly

Donald Trump has read Magma 67

Magma 67In a parallel universe, Donald Trump has read Magma’s Bones & Breath issue and is discovering that poetry can bite back!

In their introduction to the issue, co-editors Rob A Mackenzie and A.B. Jackson ask “how can poetry bring fresh perspective in the face of socio-political crisis?” Five poets attempt an answer in a though-provoking feature that’s a must-read in the aftermath of Brexit and Trump.

Making something happen within its ice-cool pages are voices from across the globe including Caroline Bird, Claire Booker, Alison Brackenbury, Vahni Capildeo, Martyn Crucefix, Isobel Dixon, John Greening, Anja Konig, Stav Poleg, Richard Price and David Wheatley.

Ilya Kaminsky’s searing poems ‘The Map of Bone and Opened Valves’ and ‘Our Boys Drag a Soldier into a Sunlit Piazza’ bring the banal horror of contemporary war into subtle and devastating perspective. Asif Khan, Dzifa Benson, Alistair Noon, Theodoros Chiotis, Eleanor Livingstone and Juana Adcock share their thoughts on Brexit and Poetry and there is explosive wordplay from selected poet Holly Corfield Carr including her ‘Z’ – a highly inventive riff on letters of the alphabet.

Magma 67 launchA Magma launch is always a gold star event in the calendar, so I was thrilled to be one of the contributors invited to read in front of a buzzing audience packing the L -shaped London Review Bookshop in central London.

Performing page poetry can be something of a challenge, but we were lucky to enjoy a range of voices, including the poised and incisive Martin Crucefix, a delightfully bubbly Alison Brackenbury and bucket loads of wit from Nicki Heinen and  Holly Corfield Carr.

Issue 67 continues Magma’s series of inviting poets to create a new poem in response to work by their favourite poet. In this issue, it’s Guggenheim Award winner Cate Marvin who was inspired by Charlotte Mew’s ‘The Quiet House’ to create her own homage in the shape of ‘My Father’s Liquor Cabinet’.

Magma 67 launch“The Quiet House contains one of my all-time favorite poetic statements: ‘A rose can stab you from across the street/ deeper than any knife’.” says Cate Marvin. “I wanted to chose a poet that not everyone might be familiar with because this is one of the pleasures we can provide for one another as readers.

“It’s times like these [Trump’s election] that we truly need poetry. Not just to read it, but to write it, and write a lot of it. . . . My sense of the impact of the election is that Americans (half of us anyway) now know what it feels like to be an exile in one’s own country.”

Claire Crowther, Katy Evans Bush, Lisa Kelly and Jon Sayers review some of the latest poetry fare, including ‘Float’ by Anne Carson, ‘Sunshine’ by Melissa Lee-Houghton, ‘The Further Adventures of the Lives of the Saints’ by Patrick Mackie, and ‘Noir’ by Charlotte Gann.

To buy a one off copy of Magma 67, order a subscription to the magazine, or check on submission windows, please visit: www.magmapoetry.com

Cover : Bahar Yurukoglu.

Advertisements

Prole issue 20 is out and proud!

Winner of Best Magazine at The Saboteur Awards in the year that Wales magicked itself into footballing history, Prole has a lot to be proud about.  Prole issue 20

Issue 20 of the Welsh-based lit mag is packed to the rafters with short stories and poetry from the Anglophone world. Poets published in time for autumn include Claire Booker, Matt Duggan, Mab Jones, Joanne Key,  Lisa Kelly, Tess Kincaid, Sue Pace and Jonny Rodgers.

To lift a quote from one of the many Saboteur Award voters: “Prole takes risks, is innovative and don’t take no bullshit from no-one.”  Yes indeed, Prole editors Brett Evans and Phil Robertson accept only clear-sighted work that isn’t dressed up in literary pretention.

Prole issue 20 Sparx' cartoon_0001One of the highlights for me in this issue is Bill Schillaci’s story The Artist Between Lives which had me hooked from the beginning with its ironic take on sessions with a psychotherapist. Also, Maureen Cullen’s Ring of Fire with its great observations and Glaswegian verbal dexterity. Poems that stand out for me include Tess Kincaid’s surreal poem Totem and Lisa Kelly’s Angelica’s Apology. There’s a guilt-inducing little gem from Robert de Born about slug extermination too. And a cartoon by Sparx rounds off the issue

If you’re a prose writer, there’s still time to enter the 2016 Prolitzer Prize which closes for entries on October 1st. Word limit is 2,500. For more details of the competition, or to submit poetry and/or prose to Prole, or buy a copy of issue 20, please click on: www.prolebooks.co.uk

Women Refugees Speak it, Hear it!

OBR

One in three women will be victims of rape or violence at some point in their lives. So what can we do about it?

It was my privilege to organise ‘Speak it, Hear it! – a fund-raising poetry event held in Clapham earlier this month as part of One Billion Rising (www.obrfestival.uk) which campaigns for an end to violence against women. The evening featured contributions from invited poets Sue Johns and Lisa Kelly, open-mic excellence  and a heart-stopping performance from women refugee poets.

The communal poem Set Her Free  was created by a group of 12 women in association with Women For Refugee Women (www.refugeewomen.co.uk) which works to help empower women who have sought asylum in the UK. Grassroots coordinator Marchu Girma, introduced two of the original poets, Jade and Joy, whose moving stories helped create Set Her Free. Their performance was brilliant, deeply moving and very humbling.

Speak it W4WRefugees

Click here to watch the full version of Set Her Freehttps://youtu.be/EQEEthsuF08

Open mic poets were in fine form during ‘Speak it, Hear it!’ and included Angela Brodie, Laura Collins, Patricia Foster, Jane Grael, Hilaire, Susan Hodgets, Rachel Joseph, Frank Mariani, Anne McCaulay, Camilla Reeve and Caroline Vero.

Subject matter ranged from inappropriate police behaviour and domestic violence to the tempting of Adam by Eve and one woman’s experience of Paris burlesque. A humble apple even got a bit (or should I say bite) part in one of Sue Johns’ poems.

Speak it Sue Johns, Frank Mariani

Sue Johns’ latest poetry collection Hush was published by Morgan’s Eye Press in 2011. Sue also writes and performs theatrical monologues and works with art/word collaborations. She is currently working on a series of poems about prostitution.  www.suejohns.co.uk

Speak it Lisa Kelly

Lisa Kelly’s finely observed poetry tackles both personal and social issues. Her poems have appeared widely in leading literary magazines. She is a board member of Magma and her pamphlet Bloodhound is published by Hearing Eye.

The One Billion Rising Festival was organised by Goblin Baby Theatre Company (www.goblinbaby.com) and staged at The Bread & Roses Theatre, Clapham, between 7th and 14th February. Events included sell-out performances of The Vagina Monologues and The Princess Monologues, stand-up comedy, play readings, burlesque, drumming, body confidence workshops, an art exhibition and talks on topics such as human trafficking and respecting femininity.

 Photos courtesy of Tessa Hart.

Magma 63 Eavesdrops on Conversations

Magma 63Literary magazines exist to offer  an exchange between reader and author – ideas and inspiration flowing freely between minds.

So bravo to Magma 63’s editors Susannah Hart and Lisa Kelly for their fascinating cache of poems and articles on the gentle (and not so gentle!) art of conversation. Poets in this issue include Sophie Baker, Claire Booker, Jane Draycott, Jody Porter, Robert Seatter, Martha Sprackland, Eoghan Walls and Jackie Wills.

And as part of Magma’s on-going commissions, Daljit Nagra presents his new poem ‘The Look of Love’ which draws on a couplet by lesser known Elizabethan poet, Thomas Campion – “Fairenesse seene in th’outward shape is but th’inward beauties Ape.”

Plus there are some excellent feature articles in this issue. Christine Webb writes eloquently on the experience of having one of her favourite poems (‘Hurrahing In Harvest’ by Manley Hopkins) recorded for her by an actor at The Poetry Exchange. If you’d like to do the same, or would like to listen to already recorded poems, then visit:  www.thepoetryexchange.co.uk

And what about posterity? Is this still a possibility for contemporary poets? Tom Chivers (Penned in the Margins), Amy Wack (Seren), Neil Astley (Bloodaxe) and Parisa Ebrahimi (Chatto & Windus) enter the conversation.

Ambit’s Poetry Editor, Declan Ryan, considers Ian Hamilton’s concept of ‘perfect speech’ and finishes with a poetry exercise: write a poem that says something that should have been said to someone at the time, but who is no longer around.

And of course, there are reviews of some of the latest poetry collections including ‘Citizen’ by Claudia Rankine, ‘Loop of Jade’ by Sarah Howe, and ‘Careful What You Wish For’ by Peter Sansom.

To read some of the poems in issue 63, or to buy a copy, check the Magma website at: www.magmapoetry.com

Poems for The Good Earth – film, art and music too

Mountain peaks, lush meadows, oceans and estuaries – even the moon Good Earth Event 14_0001took part in The Art Project’s poetry, film and music evening ‘Song of the Earth’ at St Pancras Hospital’s Conference Centre last Friday.

It was all part of London’s Creativity and Wellbeing Week. Poets and musicians performed in front of an ever-changing screen which celebrated the richness of our planet – including acclaimed novelist and poet Maureen Duffy, Lisa Kelly, John Gibbens, Ken Champion and Claire Booker.

Lisa Kelly reads from her pamphlet 'Bloodhound'

Lisa Kelly reads from her pamphlet ‘Bloodhound’

‘Song of the Earth’ was curated by Camden poets, Alan Price and Louise Warren as part of ‘The Good Earth’ exhibition of landscape paintings, photography and sculpture by artists Tim Bradford, Michael Connell, Peter Herbert and Amanda Taylor.

“Whether it be sky above or mud below, we live in a unique world,” says Peter Herbert of The Arts Project. THE GOOD EARTH offers artwork that responds to the often transient beauties and evolving surfaces and shapes of the world created by nature and often influenced by mankind itself.”

Maureen Duffy

Maureen Duffy

Live music was provided by Armorel Weston and John Gibbens (The Children) whose lyricism with voice and acoustic guitar kept the audience enraptured.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

THE GOOD EARTH exhibition is free and remains open until Thurs 24th June (Mon-Fri 9.00am to 5.00pm in the Conference Centre, St Pancras Hospital, 4 St Pancras Way, London, NW1 0PE. For details of future events planned by The Arts Project, contact its curator manager, Peter Herbert, on pbherbert@gmail.com

Alan Price’s collection ‘Outfoxing Hyenas’ is published by Indigo Dreams. Lisa Kelly’s pamphlet, ‘Bloodhound’ is published by Hearing Eye. Louise Warren’s collection ‘A Child’s Last Picture Book of the Zoo’ is published by Cinnamon Press. 

Poem on stolen pavements in Prole magazine

Prole (issue 13)When did you last look down and think – hey, that’s an expensive bit of paving stone? The history of our footsteps (and the price on its head)  features in my poem Stone-whisperers out now in the latest issue of Prole magazine.

You can enjoy mind-expanding poetry from a fine array of fellow poets including Wendy Klein, Howard Wright, Lisa Kelly’s hilarious skit on mail-order brides, Bethany W. Pope’s villanelle on her vagina and Sarah Doyle’s sparkling response to Browning’s My Last Duchess.

Prole is a quarterly literary magazine which carries short fiction and poetry. To submit your work or to buy a copy of Prole (issue 13) please click on the following link:  http://www.prolebooks.co.uk

Twenty Poets, Four Gigs and a Fistful of Poems!

What a month. I’ve guested with some fantastic poetic talent at four different gigs in front of really engaged audiences (you know who you are!)

Shuffle Feb 14

First up, Jill Abram curated the February Shuffle at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden and rustled up a gang of six very diverse poets –  (l. to r . Matt Bryden, Mehmet Izbudak, Malika Booker, Michael Scott, Claire Booker and Rachel Smith).  The evening spun brightly around Jill’s warmth, words and way with the mic.

Then I had the pleasure of featuring at the Torriano Meeting House under the able baton of Lisa Kelly. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This time I was in a threesome with Alan Price and Louise Warren, whoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA read new work and also poems from their latest collections – respectively: ‘Outfoxing Hyenas’ – published by Indigo Dreams, and ‘A Child’s Last Picture Book of the Zoo’ – published by Cinnamon.  Lisa Kelly’s ‘Bloodhound’ (Hearing Eye) is well worth a read too.

‘There may be blood, there will be poetry’ – so The Poetry Society Blurb promised.  Yes, Colchester Stanza Group tried to terrify us with tales of daring do by Essex girl Boudicca over poor old Londinium. But Original Poets stood firm and there was no vini, vidi vici about it.

Stanza Bonanza ColchesterColchester wielded some excellent poetry from Simon Banks, Dave Canning, Candyce Lang, Rosie Sandler and Alex Toms, while Original poets, marching under their leader, Andy Hickmott, gave as good as they got, thanks to fine work by Nicole Carrel, Mark Fiddes, Tessa Lang, Claire Booker and Tom Vaughan.

And finally, at Beyond Words this week, I showcased 15 minutes of my poetry along side the wry humour of headline poet Peter Phillips, who introduced us to the loves of his life – wine, poetry and Oscar the dog.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeyond Words offers poetry, prose and sometimes even music and meets on the first Tuesday of each month at The Gipsy Hill Tavern, a mere 1 minute walk from Gipsy Hill overground station (20 mins from London Bridge). Hosts Angela Brodie and Caroline Vero create a vibrant, fun and very welcoming atmosphere: www.beyondwordspoetrylondon.co.uk

The Torriano Meeting House offers a cornucopia of poetry every Sunday of the year, as well as poetry workshops, Story Night, and Folk events through the year. It’s an easy walk from Kentish Town tube: www.torrianomeetinghouse.wordpress.com

Shuffle, Feb 14 audienceThe Poetry Society is one of Britain’s most dynamic Arts association and provides members with a range of valuable services. It runs The Poetry Place, Covent Garden, where you can enjoy poetry almost every night, including the monthly Shuffle, and occasional Stanza Bonanzas. To find out more go to: www.poetrysociety.org.uk