Sunday 24 January 2021

TS Eliot prize shortlist

On BBC radio 4's Front Row program on 22nd Jan, Lavinia Greenlaw (chair of the TS Eliot prize judges) had the difficult task of describing each of the 10 shortlisted books in a paragraph or so, justifying each without showing favour. I think she was careful to share out the praise without overusing any particular word. She used "extraordinary", "incredible", "astonishing", and "remarkable" twice each; "powerful", "amazing", "startling" once.

She thought that there's a new stylistic freedom afoot (I can believe that) and that poetry's caught up with the present in a way that other art-forms haven't yet (I'm far less sure about that). The poets have "interrogated the constructs". The quote I'll keep is "when language fails, people turn to poetry".

See also The Guardian's article

Friday 15 January 2021

USA magazines

Which US magazines are worth sending to? Clifford Garstang's ranked lists are a good source of information -

Note that -

  • a few of the magazines still prefer paper submissions
  • many are University-based, with submission windows aligned to university terms.
  • many make you pay to submit (often $3)

“One Story” doesn’t charge, and it’s one of the best. Consequently they get about 100 submissions a week (the shortest being 3,000 words, the limit 8,000). So they have to read maybe 30 million words a year. Don’t expect a quick reply.