A brief update

September’s here already and I’ve still not managed to shake myself out of the lethargy that set in with the July heatwave.  For once, I’ve been reading more prose than poetry.  Indeed, my poetry life has been almost non-existent over the past month or so.  However, prompted by a couple of editors’ emails received this week, here’s a brief update on acceptances and submissions mentioned in previous posts:

Having received a PDF proof of the forthcoming Humanagerie anthology from  Eibonvale Press, I’m mightily pleased that my poem, ‘Rough Music’, features alongside work by Jane Burn, Jonathan Edwards, Hannah Linden, Paul Stephenson and others I’m looking forward to reading.

My poem, ‘Staying Put’, appears in issue 16 of The Lampeter Review, now available to read online.  Click here to read.

I had a rejection from Mslexia for their Cooking submission.  However, hopes remain for a poem I entered for the Bridport Poetry Prize…

Advertisements

What I’ve been reading this summer

The UK summer heatwave rendered me incapable of doing little else but hugging the shade with a goodly supply of water, tea and reading material.  I granted myself leave from writing a blog post, last Sunday.  Writing output amounted to little more than notebook drivel on nights when it was too hot to sleep.  I never find it too hot to read, though.

I’ve blogged before about collecting poems that I’ve read in magazines or online: the ones I love and those I might wish to re-read or refer to, at some point in the future.  There are more than a few I’ll cut out and keep from the Europe issue of Magma.  As a long-term subscriber, I think it’s quite possibly the best issue in years (I can’t comment on my TBR copy of the Film issue).  It could so easily have been Brexit-centric but issue 70 was, as always, a net cast wide in terms of style, subject and takes on a theme.  Poems that made me smile: Duncan Chambers’ Les Vacances; Sarah Juliet Walsh’s Le Rêve.  One that made me laugh out loud: Astra Bloom’s Sacré.  My absolute Top Three poems of political/social comment: Fiona Larkin’s Hygge; William Roychowdhury’s Farage for a Migrant Worker; Katriona Naomi’s Slowly, as the talk goes on, we are getting nowhere.

20180812_123049.jpg

Occasionally I admit to abandoning a book I wasn’t enjoying.  I did enjoy Lemn Sissay’s lecture, Landmark Poems, at University of Leicester in May.  I follow his morning tweets.  I was looking forward to reading Gold from the Stone, New and Selected Poems (Canons).  However, despite my best efforts, it wasn’t for me.  So I will gift it to someone who will read and treasure it.  If you think that could be you, do let me know in the comments box below.

Hot off the TBR pile, my current poetry read is Deborah Alma’s Dirty Laundry, (which I pre-ordered at the same time as Josephine Corcoran’s What Are You After?)  It’s daring, direct and highly readable.  I’m enjoying it immensely.  I have a large and growing collection of Nine Arches Press poetry collections, and justifiably so.

20180812_133835.jpg

I’ve recently re-subscribed to Shawna Lemay’s blog, Transactions with Beauty.  It’s a tranquil space amidst the clamour of the world-wide web.  I related to her latest post, Ways of Being a Writer. I think I’ve been several of these kinds of writers, at certain points in time.  It’s a reminder to stop beating myself up over my (lack of) writing (as in paragraph one, above, for instance!).

On Thursday evening, I attended an author talk at a neighbouring village library, organised by the lovely Debbie James, independent bookseller extraordinaire, of The Bookshop, Kibworth.  (Do drop by if you’re in the area.  The Table of Temptation is aptly named).  Damon Young, author of The Art of Reading, gave a fascinating and thought-provoking talk: a philosopher’s perspective on the power (and responsibilities) of the reader.  Damon is appearing at Edinburgh Book Festival, if you’re interested. I’m looking forward to reading this, my latest book purchase:

20180812_131110.jpg

What have you been reading, this summer?

A submission bears fruit

IMG_2755.JPG

Hot on the heels of a published poem in issue 66 of The Interpreter’s House comes an acceptance for the DIVERSIFLY anthology: Everyday Encounters with the Birds of Britain’s Towns and Cities – in Poetry & Art.  Edited by Nadia Kingsley, it will be published in January 2018 by Fair Acre Press.  Mine’s a wee poem (like its subject) but I’m thrilled nevertheless.

Submissions still viable:

  • 5 unpublished poems to a poetry magazine, via Submittable, in early June are now ‘In-Progress.’ – since 24th October, in fact – I took to checking daily.  (Online submission portals are great, but the trackable status of active submissions serve to highlight the waiting time between ‘Received’ and ‘In-Progress’ (and from thence to ‘Declined’ or ‘Accepted’).
  • 4 previously-published poems (3 plus 1) for 2 themed anthologies, to be published by the same small press.  (The proposed response dates for these have stretched, over time, from September to November).
  • 2 previously-published poems submitted (last year?  the year before?  I forget) to Poetry in the Waiting Room.  I’d be seriously chuffed if either one of ’em gets to grace an NHS waiting room at some point in the future.  ‘Nothing ventured…’, right?
  • 1 poem entered for a themed poetry competition.  I saw (a Facebook link to the announcement on Write Out Loud), I read (the theme, the rules) I entered (I had a poem ready for submission that I reckon fits the theme well).  I like the level playing field of competitions.  And ‘you have to be in it…’, right?
  • I still have high hopes for one particular poem recently returned from my TIH #66 submission. I’ll send it out again without any re-drafting (not sure where, yet). 

I’m having second thoughts about a few poems that have been around the houses (including TIH).  I’ll re-draft them before re-submission.  Or they may end up consigned to Unfinished or Dubious – sub folders where the unviable languish.  But there are some NaPoWriMo poems that have lain dormant for months and are ripe for nurturing.  

 

A published poem

I’m having a very quiet year – in terms of poem acceptances, that is.  I’m doubly pleased, therefore, to have a poem (The Night Driver’s Wife) published in the latest issue of The Interpreter’s House magazine.  My contributor’s copy of issue 66 arrived in Monday’s post.  What a beauty!

20171023_173117.jpg

I’ve not had time to do more than glance down the list of contributors on the back cover.  There are poets I’m looking forward to reading for the first time as well as re-acquaintances and firm favourites.  Poetry magazines and small presses are labours of love; some I’ve admired have disappeared over the past few years, so it’s really encouraging to see TIH go from strength to strength under Martin Malone’s editorship, ably assisted by Charles Lauder Jnr.  If you’d like to subscribe or purchase a single copy, it’s as easy as clicking here (although I notice issue 66 isn’t available at the time of writing this).

Will there be a launch?  And will it be do-able in terms of travelling distance and other commitments?  I hope so 🙂

What the postman brought

Look what landed on my doormat this morning!

Interpreter's House 56

Perfect bound, its cover like a silk skin, that ink-on-paper fresh-from-the-printer’s aroma; the latest issue of The Interpreter’s House is a joy to handle.  Running my eye down the list of poetry and prose contributors on the back cover, I’m impressed.  And delighted to be in such fine company, as I have a little poem in there, too.  It’s one that will feature in my forthcoming pamphlet as part of a short sequence (more about that in my next blog post).

Hot on the heels of its Brighton launch, there’s to be a Nottingham launch, too.  It’s hosted by Five Leaves bookshop.  I’m really looking forward to reading at this event.  Here are the details if you’re local to the midlands or fancy a jaunt for an evening of poetry and Prosecco:

TIH Nottingham launch

You can buy a single copy or take out a subscription here.

Me?  I’m factoring a long coffee stop into my day.

 

The Poetry Library

Hotfoot from visiting David Bowie Is at the V & A (see previous blog post) and duly restored by a lunch of rainbow trout, buttered baby new potatoes and seasonal veg, washed down with more Earl Grey tea, I took to the tube for my first visit to The Saison Poetry Library in the Southbank Centre.

Anyway, after a morning of queuing, standing and walking, it was a short hop from Embankment tube station across Hungerford Bridge (cold and blowy, grey view):

IMG_4472

for nigh on three blissful hours of (seated) browsing through mostly current issues of the many poetry magazines I can’t afford to subscribe to.  In the final print issue of Sphinx (a few years ago), an interview with Chris Emery made interesting reading in light of Salt’s very recent decision to cease publication of single-author poetry collections.

After that, I had time for no more than a cursory look at the shelves (contemporary poetry collections and pamphlets from 1912 onwards, plus a few earlier poets deemed to have influenced contemporary poetry).

Tucked away in the back corner (hardly occupying pride of place in a library that has neither sufficient space or pride of place itself, being tucked away in a corner on the fifth level of the Southbank Centre…) was a desk signed by all the participants in London’s Poetry Parnassus, 2012:

IMG_4479 IMG_4480

I was tempted to take out (free) membership, but I know that my visits will be so infrequent that returning books on loan is impracticable.  But I do hope for a return visit to explore more of the poetry on those shelves in the not-too-distant future.