At a time when many small poetry presses are going on indefinite hiatus or closing down altogether, it’s heartening to welcome a relative newcomer to the field. Sídhe Press published its first book in February of this year – Our Own Coordinates, an anthology of poems about dementia that is profound, tender, unflinching and courageous. This has been followed by Sarah Connor’s fine collection The Crow Gods and a second anthology, Glisk and Glimmer, on the theme of Light. Annick Yerem, the Editor-in-Chief of Sídhe Press, is a gifted poet in her own right, whose work has been widely published both online and in print. Annick’s chapbook, St Eisenberg and the Sunshine Bus, was published in 2022 by Hedgehog Press. I was delighted when she agreed to an interview with me.Continue reading
Start exploring contemporary Zimbabwean writing and you will very quickly come across books published by Carnelian Heart. The imprint was established in April 2020 and already has an impressive list of around 30 titles, including fiction, memoir, short stories, and poetry in both English and Shona. It’s a testament to the vision, energy and creative talent of Samantha Rumbidzai Vazhure, Carnelian Heart’s founder and editor. Warm and generous, with a smile that lights up the space around her, Samantha is a fierce advocate for equality and the welfare of women and children. She is passionate in her support for under-represented voices, and extremely dedicated, often still at work well after midnight.Continue reading
Triangles, my new poetry collection, is now available to purchase directly from Penteract Press, who ship all over the world.
You can order a copy at this link: https://penteractpress.com/store/triangles
I have a shelf of books with vivid, arresting covers adorned with a black swan – the logo of Beir Bua, an independent publisher of experimental poetry. Among them is my collection of essays From Fibs to Fractals: exploring mathematical forms in poetry, which was published in 2021. Working with Michelle Moloney King, the press’s founder and editor, was a joy. She fizzed with ideas, enthusiasm, and creative energy. A gifted poet in her own right, Michelle also designed all those gorgeous Beir Bua covers herself, including creating the artwork.Continue reading
Messages from the past take many forms: ancient structures, buildings, and artefacts; burial sites; rituals and symbolism; stories, poems and songs shared through generations; sculptures, paintings, works of art.Continue reading
There may be poets who can sit in front of their computer or notebook and spontaneously compose a poem, but I am not one of them. Generally, my poems have a long gestation. I tend to mull them over while doing other things: gardening, walking, cleaning the bathrooms. Crocheting.Continue reading
How does the formulation of a poem begin? With an idea, an image, a phrase, a subject, a feeling, a memory, a structure?
I’ve been thinking about this question in relation to my own writing. Unsurprisingly, there is no single answer. On rare occasions a poem plops almost fully formed into my head (inconveniently, this tends to happen in the middle of the night). The trick then is to capture it, to write it down before it flits off and disappears like a migrating bird.Continue reading
Some months ago, I received a charming email from a stranger who had read and enjoyed some of my poems. The stranger’s name was David Cohen and we started following each other on Twitter, where I very quickly discovered that he posts a daily Scrabblegram.Continue reading
There has been a great deal of flustered fluttering on Twitter (now known as X) in recent weeks, as regular users have become concerned for the platform’s viability. Change is always tricky to deal with. Amid expressions of nervousness, uncertainty for the future, defiance, outrage etc, it’s also become clear how significant the micro-blogging site has been to the poetry community – as an online meeting place where we can form new friendships, discover new journals, explore unfamiliar poetic forms, become reacquainted with old favourites, market our own work and celebrate the work of others.Continue reading
‘Can machines think?’
Alan Turing posed this question in his seminal 1950 paper ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ that laid the foundations for research into artificial intelligence. Turing’s life and work provide the inspiration for Machinations, a poetic collaboration between Kinneson Lalor and JP Seabright published by Trickhouse Press. Fiercely intelligent, dazzlingly inventive and profoundly insightful, Machinations does justice not only to the depth, breadth and creative genius of Turing’s intellectual achievements but also to the complex layers of his personality.
I asked Kinneson and JP how the book came into being, their experience of working together and what informed their creative choices.Continue reading