Tag Archives: poems

Frogmore Papers issue 89

The Wax Paper with seal close up_0001Folkestone is fast becoming a hotbed of artistic innovation to rival Hastings and Brighton. But the seeds were already sown in 1983 when Andre Evans and Jeremy Page launched The Frogmore Press from the town’s Frogmore tea-rooms.

The magazine has since moved left a bit and up a bit. It’s now published bi-annually from the East Sussex county town of Lewes.  The latest issue lives up to its reputation for engaging cover designs with an arresting rendition of ‘twae corbies’ by Eva Bodinet.

Poets published in issue 89 include Claire Booker, Maggie Butt, Julia Deakin, James Flynn, Desmond Graham, Chris Hardy, D A Prince, John Short, Pam Zinneman-Hope and John Whitehouse.  There are short stories by Caroline Price, Mary O’Donnell, Simon Howells, Kevin Tosca and Rachael McGill, plus a generous number of reviews including Peter Ebsworth’s Krapp’s Last Tape:The Musical which I for one have thoroughly enjoyed reading.

The Wax Paper with seal close up_0002Copies of issue 89 are available for sale at £5, or you can take out a one year subscription (£10) or two year subscription (£15).  The Frogmore Papers now operates submissions windows in April and October. For more details on how to submit or take out a subscription, please visit: www.frogmorepress.co.uk

The Interpreter’s House unleashes flying furniture!

interpreters-house-64Chairs and sofas are blooming on the spring issue of The Interpreter’s House. No need for daffs and crocuses when you can enjoy poetry and short stories, curled up somewhere warm until the clocks change.

Poets in issue 64 include Miranda Barnes, Claire Booker, Ingrid Casey, Gram Joel Davies, Pamela Job, Wendy Klein, Julie Mellor, Katrina Naomi, Stuart Pickford, James Sutherland Smith and Samuel Tongue.

And if that’s not enough to rev up your day, there’s fiction by Anna Lewis, Eleanor Fordyce and Nicola Ratnett, plus Dawn Gorman reviews Much Possessed (John Foggin, smith/doorstop) and Martin Malone reviews Scarlet Tiger (Ruth Sharman, Templar Poetry).

The Interpreter’s House is edited by Martin Malone from his eerie in Aberdeen and comes out three times a year. If you want your work to appear in the summer issue, hurry, hurry as the submissions window closes on Feb 28th.

To buy a copy of issue 64 or find out more about the magazine, go to: theinterpretershouse.com

Review of Rosie Garland’s ‘As in Judy’

rosie-garland_0001What makes a good review? Is it readability? Accuracy? An instinct for the telling quote? Having grappled with writing my first poetry review, all I know is that, like any other art-form, it will take years of practice to hone the skill.

But not withstanding, it was a gripping experience to read the newest poetry collection from the multi-talented and heart-warmingly modest Rose Garland.  I can only urge you to get down to your local book store and order a copy of As in Judy. It’s full of verbal spark and hard-won humanity. Or you can go direct to Manchester-based publisher Flapjack Press (www.flapjackpress.co.uk) and buy it on-line.

If you’d like a taste of ‘As in Judy, here’s the link to my write-up on Write Out Loud (another gem of the poetry world):  www.writeoutloud.net/public/blogentry.php?blogentryid=63176

Erbacce 45 is out!

Always full of surprises, the latest issue of erbacce  (Italian for weed) has spread its green feelers across continents, with poetry from Chicago, Germany, Italy and the UK.erbacce 45

Edited in Liverpool by Alan Corkish and Andrew Taylor, erbacce has a fine tradition of presenting poetry that is  unusual, provoking, even – words that make exciting  shapes on the page.

I’m delighted they’ve taken four of my poems for this issue, alongside the work of Peter Eustace (Verona, Italy), Michelle Chen (Whitestone, USA), Clive Donovan (Devon), Alex Dreppee (Darmstadt, Germany), Luke Karl Thurogood (Wigan) and Eric Allen Yankee (Chicago, USA).

It’s great to read a wide range of poets in one magazine, but it can also be enjoyable to read more work, from a smaller pot of poets. This is where erbacce comes into its own. Issue 45 includes 14 poems by Peter Eustace, a thought-provoking poet of pared down words and a fierce eye for detail. In an interview with Alan Corkish, Peter explains how his forty years based in Verona have affected his poetry, and what drives him to carry on writing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of erbacce 45, or submit your work to the magazine, please click on this link:http://www.erbacce.com/

Booker poem makes it into The Spectator

Spectator (26.3.16)_0001You know how it goes – another A4 brown envelope hits the doormat, you rip it open, braced for a rejection, read the slip which says  . . . hang on, it says: “Thanks, I’d like to take your poem. With best wishes, Hugo W.”

Within hours of reading Hugo Williams’ note,  the phone rings. It’s the Spectator’s Arts Desk to check my poem is still available (apparently, a two month wait is considered worthy of an apology). Then, after a couple of days, the emotional back lash – is it true, did I dream it up, will it really go in?

Come Easter, there it is, better than a chocolate egg, on page 13 of the March 26th  edition, all shiny and brand new in the middle of an article about Tory in-fighting.

Friends are duly phoned. They buy copies (many in disguise for political reasons) and I sit back and try to imagine the 60,000 readers who might be considering my poem right now. Will it help them think differently about the refugee crisis?  Does poetry make anything happen? Are we all wasting our time? Spectator (26.3.16)_0004

Much too heavy for the Easter break. I decide on a piece of chocolate and settle down to read some mouth-watering book reviews, including one I may well spend my ill-gotten fee on: Seeing Ourselves: Women’s Self-Portraits. It’s by art historian Frances Borzello, full of lavish illustrations and new research into gifted female painters who currently languish in museum basements. Shame on you, Establishment!

Poems, reviews, short fiction in Under the Radar

The alphabet’s been good to me. I was born with a ‘B’ in my mouth, which means I get to be one of the front runners in alphabetically organised lists through no skill of my own.

Under the Radar (issue 16)Uncommonly for a literary magazine, Under the Radar chooses to present its poetry in alphabetical order. You’d think this would make an awkward flow of poems, kicking randomly against each other. But no; in issue 16, more than fifty poems weave their content, style and layout with panache, offering a truly invigorating read. How did editor Jane Commane manage that?

And  there’s the added advantage that it’s easier to track a poet you know or want to read for a second time if all the work is alphabetically arranged.

Writers in issue 16 include Claire Booker, Natalie Burdett, Andrew Button, Rishi Dastidar, Chris Dodd, Charlotte Gann, James Giddings, Chris Hardy, Jenny Hope, Brian Johnstone, Martin Malone, Joan Michelson, Fiona Moore, Angela Readman, Martin Reed, Marion Tracy and Julia Webb.

There are a couple of short stories, plus thirteen well-argued reviews from Kathleen Bell, Alison Brackenbury, Kim Moore, Pam Thompson, Deborah Tyler-Bennett and Charles Whalley. The clever money appears to be on, among others, Josephine Corcoran’s The Misplaced House; Steve Ely’s Englaland; Kim Moore’s The Art of Falling; Peter Riley’s Due North; and John Tait’s Barearse Boy.

To buy a copy of Under the Radar (Issue 16) or to submit your own work (the current window for short fiction and poetry closes on 30th April) please visit: www.ninearchespress.com

Salzburg’s Hills are Alive with Poems

Salzburg is the land of Mozart, castles, the von Trapps, whipped cream . . . and English poetry? Yes, the hills are alive with the work of 53 poets in the latest issue of Poetry Salzburg Review. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A little left-field perhaps, but the literary magazine set up by the University of Salzburg’s Department of English and American Studies has an 11 year record of publishing original poetry in English. So I’m thrilled to have five of my poems included in their latest issue (No. 28).

Poetry Salzburg Review 28

The magazine comes out twice yearly, and delivers some of the best front covers of any literary publication. This issue’s dream-like sequence was created by Russian-born Michael Cheval who specialises in Absurdist paintings, drawings and portraits.

Content in Issue 28 is an eclectic mix of poetry from the Anglophone world, including poets from Canada, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

Sharon Black, Jane Bonnyman, Claire Booker, Daragh Bradish, Meg Eden, Piotr Florczyk, Anne Harding Woodworth, Andrzej Lyszkowicz, Lindsay MacGregor, Rob A Mackenzie, Kim Moore, Stuart A. Patterson, Robert Peake, Hagar Peeterson (translated by Judith Wilkinson), Caroline Price, Wally Swist and Ross Wilson share between one and 5 poems apiece with the reader.

Poetry Salzburg Review 28 (2)Poetry Salzburg Review 28 (2)Issue 28 also contains reviews of John Silkins’s Complete Poems, Rae Armantrout’s Itself, the German poets Volker Braun and Michael Kruger, and collections by Caitriona O’Reilly, Kim Moore, Gordon Hodgeon, Mike Jenkins and Robert Peake. Plus translations of Michael Kruger by Wolfgang Gortschacher and David Malcolm.

To buy a copy of Issue 28 or submit you work to the magazine check details at  www.poetrysalzburg.com or email the editors at psr@poetrysalzburg.com

Stuck for a Stocking Filler? Make someone’s day with Poetry!

Genius Floored, Notes While Waiting 15Only ten shopping days left to Christmas. But don’t despair! Salvation is only a brief mouse-click away.

Why not buy that poetry-loving, special someone a copy of Genius Floored: Notes While Waiting? All proceeds from the sale are donated to Caris Camden, which administers Camden cold-weather shelters for the homeless.

The anthology contains work by poetry big-hitters such as Fleur Adcock, Elaine Feinstein, Matthew Hollis, Fiona Sampson and George Szirtes, plus contributions from some of the many open-mic contributors at Lumen and Camden poetry evenings in London. These include Connie Bensley, Claire Booker, Greg Byrne, Nancy Charley, Annemarie Cooper, Gillian Henchley, Hilaire, Racheal Joseph and Caroline Vero.

Edited by award-winning poet, Ruth O’Callaghan, it’s an incredible snip at £4.99 per copy. To purchase a copy of Genius Floored:Notes While Waiting please click on the following link http://www.soaringpenguinpress.com

To find out more about Camden and Lumen poetry events check out:  http://www.camdenlumen.wordpress.com

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

New Welsh Reader turns search-light on War

The theme of War and its contradictions runs through NWR #109, including an intriguing memoir about a Welsh-American GI by Peter E Murphy, and a searing short story by Daniel Jones about life after Afghanistan.

New Welsh Review (issue 109)

There’s also a hard-hitting essay by John Barnie – ‘The Sentimental Poppy’ – which argues that the War To End All Wars has been hi-jacked by tasteless nostalgia and is simply the last hurrah of British imperialism. One to ponder, at a time when the new leader of the Labour Party has promised to wear a white poppy this November at the Cenotaph.

New Welsh Review offers it’s usual high standard of poetry this issue with work by Polly Atkin, Sara Backer, Claire Booker, Philip Burton, James Davey, David Foster-Morgan and Stav Poleg. For a taster of each of the poems, click on: www.newwelshreview.com//article.php?id=1061

Love him or hate him, Caradoc Evan’s highly controvertial short-story collection ‘My People’ still divides a nation, one hundred years after its first publication. Huw Lawrence’s essay dispassionately dissects these gripping stories – vitriolic parody of Welsh villagers by one of their own, or dark moral fables on universal themes? How complex the creative mind can be.

And on a lighter note, there’s a hilarious short story – ‘My Bukowski’ by Crystal Jeans – which really does take the stuffing out of sexual fantasy!

To buy of copy of New Welsh Reader (issue 109) or to find out how to submit your work to the magazine, click: www.newwelshreview.com

New Welsh Reader (issue 109) blurb