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Pomegranate


As the wind howls outside and something that’s trying to be snow descends from the skies, what better time is there to spend a while browsing an exciting new poetry ezine? Pomegranate is something I stumbled across recently: a plucky endeavour from a bunch of Foyles Young Poets prize-winners that aims to give a voice and literary platform to young writers everywhere. So far, two issues have been published, containing poetry from the likes of Forward Prize-shortlisted Salt poet Luke Kennard and Mimesis editor James Midgley, as well as refreshing work by some really promising and startlingly young poets including Emily Tesh, Martha Sprackland and Richard O’Brien.

Highlights from issue 1 include O’Brien’s ‘On Returning to the Morrison’s Produce Department’ and Tesh’s ‘Interview with a Goddess’, and James Midgley’s ‘Seducing the Leopard Gecko’ makes for the wonderfully descriptive and impressive stand-out piece from issue 2. Well, at least in my humble opinion anyway: head over there yourself to check out what’s on offer. The link’s here.

And if you like what you find, there’s more in store: issue 3’s out in March, and the next issue of longstanding print-based poetry magazine Magma, edited by Roddy Lumsden, promises to be one of the most exciting in recent years, featuring work by some of the Pomegranate team, other up and coming poets, interviews, and a sequence from yours truly. It too will be available in March, with news and updates on the Magma website. In the meantime, and before I post on it, I’ll be working on a few reviews, as well as looking forward to the results of various competitions, including the National: I’ll be holding out for a slightly more adventurous winner this year, especially with Penelope Shuttle on the judging panel.

Comments

Rob said…
I like Penenlope Shuttle too. But you never can tell what judges are going to go for. Last year, Alice Oswald, John Burnside and Lee Harwood were judges and, while the poems chosen were good enough, they weren't as adventurous as that panel might have suggested.
Ben Wilkinson said…
Too true, Rob: three judges can result in good if wholly predictable winners (poems rather than poets that is). I have a feeling that Michael Schmidt might come at loggerheads with Shuttle over what should win, for example, which means, as is often the case, that they'll have to compromise on strong but average enough poems for the top three places.

Nice to see E.A. Markham on the judging panel too though.

I sometimes think that with the National the commended poems make for the most interesting reads.
Char Star said…
Glad to see you're enjoying Pomegranate! I'm loving your blog.

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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

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Way More Than Luck (Seren Books, 2018)

From the thumping heartbeat of the distance runner to the roar of football terraces across the decades, Ben Wilkinson’s debut confronts the struggles and passions that come to shape a life. Beginning with an interrogation of experiences of clinical depression and the redemptive power of art and running, the collection centres on a series of vivid character portraits, giving life to some of football's legends. By turns frank, comic, sinister and meditative – ‘the trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head’ – these poems uncover the beautiful game’s magic and absurdity, hopes and disappointments, as striking metaphors for our everyday dramas. Elsewhere there are tender love poems, political satire and strange dream worlds, in an urgently lyrical book of poems that take many forms and modes of address: pantoum, sonnet, sestina; epistle, confession, dramatic monologue. All are united by a desire to speak with searching clarity about matters of the heart. Way More …