- Issue one of (b)OINK magazine has appeared - fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art. Looks good.
- While reading Flash Frontier I stumbled across Ingrid Jendrzejewski's bio - "... studied creative writing at the University of Evansville, then physics at the University of Cambridge. She has soft spots for Go, cryptic crosswords and the python programming language". Her 2016 list of pubs (36 items) is impressive - Aesthetica, 50-Word Stories, Flash: the International Short-Short Story Magazine, Flash Frontier, Litro, and various competition mentions (first place, Bath Flash Fiction Award, etc). One to watch.
- If you like diagrams constructed from texts (Hamlet for example), you may be interested in Network Theory, Plot Analysis by Franco Moretti
- Matthew Stewart's The Best U.K. Poetry Blogs of 2016 begins with "There's no point beating about the bush or glossing things over: 2016 hasn’t been a vintage year for U.K. poetry blogs" but he puts a brave face on it
Monday, 16 January 2017
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
2 poets, 2 pamphlets, 2 books, 2 publishers. Both of these poets had publications last year which were successors to earlier publications.
- Maria Taylor's pamphlet, Instructions for making me (HappenStance, 2016), succeeded her book Melanchrini (Nine Arches Press, 2012).
- Gregory Leadbetter's book, The Fetch (Nine Arches Press, 2016), succeeded his pamphlet Body in the well (HappenStance, 2007).
At a recent poetry meeting that I went to there was discussion about the changing role of pamphlets. They needn't be a stepping stone towards first-book publication. If you produce only 2 or 3 decent poems a year and you don't want to compromise on quality, a pamphlet's the only alternative to waiting a decade or so between publications. These two poets have interchanged publishers (Nine Arches Press doesn't do pamphlets, HappenStance doesn't do many books). Maria's taken 4 years to produce a pamphlet, and Gregory's taken 9 to produce a book, so neither has rushed. And it shows - both the second publications feel the right length; they're free of padding and have long acknowledgements sections. Both of the later publications have a prevailing but not monopolising theme that provides cohesion.
Both the poets have families and have written or edited other books in the interim, and they both write reviews, so they haven't been twiddling their thumbs while waiting for poems to arrive. All it needs is patience. What perhaps helps is that they inhabit creative writing environments that enable them to keep in touch with poetry-writing even when they're not feverishly writing poetry themselves.
Wednesday, 4 January 2017
Gerry Cambridge edits "The Dark Horse" magazine and Nell Nelson runs HappenStance press. They both review, write articles, and still manage to write poetry. Both have written books of (and about) poetry, and both judge competitions - Gerry Cambridge is currently judging the National Poetry Competition.
- Down with Poetry! by Helena Nelson (Happenstance, 2016) includes poems from "Ambit", "PN Review", and "The Rialto" - a heavier list of magazines than many unlight poetry books can boast. Several of the poems are about poetry. You shouldn't assume that the views expressed in these poems represent the publisher's opinions, but prospective submitters could do worse than read this collection.
- How (not) to get your poetry published by Helena Nelson (Happenstance, 2016) has exercises and tables of information.
- Notes for lighting a fire by Gerry Cambridge (Happenstance, 2011) is a book of poems that's been reviewed in "The TLS", "New Walk Magazine", "Critical Survey", "Poetry London", etc.
- The Dark Horse by Gerry Cambridge (Happenstance, 2016) is the history of the magazine and much else besides. Well worth a read even if you're not thinking of submitting to the magazine.