I have had a few poems published recently in Magma, The Fenland Reed and Under the Radar. I was lucky to be asked to read as at the launch of issue 56 of Magma, on the theme of revolution, edited by Laurie Smith and Jane R Rogers. A fine evening spent at the London Review of Books bookshop in Bloomsbury back in mid-July, and a chance to bump into other poet friends. The other guest reader was Helena Nelson (a.k.a Nell of HappenStance press) who delivered her poems brilliantly, particularly the no-holds-barred poem ‘Stopping the War‘ full of arresting graphic detail. I am very grateful to Magma over the past few years for taking some of my playful poems that experiment with form and for Laurie’s encouragement in particular. He asked me to read my beetroot poem ‘The Apprentice‘ and it made me smile to do so (though I admit I didn’t watch the last series).
The Fenland Reed is an excellent new journal from East Anglia, edited by Jonathan Totman and Mary Livingstone, both recent Fenland Poet Laureates. I met Jonathan when I was living in north London, as he was when, and we were both members of Highgate Poets, our monthly workshop group. And this is where I met some other wonderful writers such as Robert Peake (who runs the ground breaking Transatlantic Poetry), Anne Ballard, Diana Bishop, Miriam Halahmy (amazing children’s fiction), Sarah Doyle, Isabel Galleymore, Norbert Hirschhorn and Frances Galleymore, to name but some of them. The group made my settling in north London back in 2009 all the easier and more enjoyable.
Anyway, The Fenland Reed has excellent production values and in its first two issues has proven a remarkable new journal and one well worth a subscription – so vital for new kids on the poetry publishing block. I understand that Jonathan and Mary are receiving submissions from far and wide, way beyond the fens of Ely and north Cambridgeshire. In this issue, I muse on time. And you’ll understand why I don’t like wearing a watch.
Under the Radar is also a handsome journal produced by Nine Arches Press, edited by Jane Commane and Matt Merritt. I had previously had a poem a few issues back called ‘Deathflake‘ (reprinted here on Josephine Corcoran’s site And Other Poems). Since then Josephine has written her own poem using this form called ‘Suicide/Rain’ recently published in Poetry Wales. It’s a great feeling for a poem of my own to have inspired a writer and to have enabled a new poem of their own. So, in this issue of Under the Radar I have two poems about (or inspired by) my father who died in 2010. One was written using all the words found on a box of medication. Both are in their own way attempts at portraits, but not straight on.
I have a political poem forthcoming in the fantastic The Interpreter’s House edited by Martin Malone and Charles Lauder Jnr, and in The North, edited by Peter Sansom and Ann Sansom, a few poems from my new pamphlet. More of which in my next post.