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.
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.
As 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.
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.”
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