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Showing posts from March, 2008

Thumbscrew

It’s partly just me being selfish, but I’m slightly gutted that I arrived on the poetry scene (have I arrived? or am I about to? I’m not really sure…) and, unless I’d been precociously intelligent, by extension on planet earth, too late to enjoy a subscription to Tim Kendall’s wonderful magazine, Thumbscrew.

The mag ran from 1994 until (from what I can gather) 2002, and in that time carved itself a niche in publishing often excellent and sometimes refreshingly unusual and off-kilter poetry, but most of all, in mocking the hype, soundbytes and absurdities that often surround poetry, poets and their reputations / egos. I’ve been reading the issues uploaded on the wonderful resource that is poetrymagazines.org.uk recently, and absolutely love what must have once been the near-legendary ‘Odds and Ends’ section. Here’s a smattering of pieces drawn from it:


Beware the Blurb

“Vendler is arguing for a depoliticisation of [North] that robs it of much of its power to provoke as well as merely to r…

Pomegranate Issue 3

Just some brief news in the recent publication of the latest issue of Pomegranate, the online magazine that publishes exciting new poems, reviews and features by young writers.

As well as a strong and varied selection of new poems by Claire Askew, George Ttoouli, Ben Davison and many others, there are articles on putting together a first collection by recent T.S. Eliot Prize-shortlisted poet Frances Leviston, on the politics behind poetry by Richard O'Brien, and on poetic voice by co-editor Emily Tesh. There's also a new poem by myself.

An illuminating and interesting interview with Canadian poet and UK Oxfam Writer In Residence Todd Swift also rounds the issue off, covering poetry and its crossover with the possibilities of the digital age, publishing work and getting noticed, and the emerging UK poets to look out for in the not-too-distant future. Well worth a read. In fact, along with the latest issue of Magma and Roddy Lumsden's article on working with young writers in t…

By Way Of An Update

A few things have appeared online and dropped through the letterbox of late.

The first is the new issue of Magma, No.40, which is edited by Roddy Lumsden and one of the strongest and most exciting to date. Its focus, quite accidentally down to the 'fine poems starting to appear from so many young writers' received in submission for the issue, is on young poets, featuring an interview with the likes of Foyles Young Poet of the Year winner Richard O'Brien and tall-lighthouse poet Jay Bernard, as well as poems from a wide range of impressive young writers, and more established talents such as Ros Barber, Claire Crowther and Sarah Wardle.

It's well worth a read, with particular highlights including Mark Waldron's 'I called the plumber...' (that rare beast: the successful funny poem) and Tony Williams's richly descriptive 'Argument About the Definition of Red'. And Eloise Stonborough, a young Oxford poet and blogger, has an excellent piece, 'Jet La…