Issue 11, news and reviews


I have a very exciting announcement about our Chapbook Contest, which is going to be judged by Michael Blackburn, the well respected poet whose stellar career is described in the post in this issue. I have known Michael for many years since I was a Literature Consultant for Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts, and the judging is definitely in safe hands.
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This issue  showcases another fine selection of poetry, and I am delighted to welcome some feature writers too.
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 There is a good mix of styles and subjects here.  Vincent Zepp’s  poems are a breath of fresh air, and I like the fact that he responds to Ferlinghetti, Pound, Eliot, Basho, and Berryman. It is so good to have 20th century modernism referenced, the forms  are interesting and engaging, and I love the tone. His feature, And so forth,  enlarges on  his approach, and Josh Clayton also looks at Modernism and the routes modern poetry may follow.
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More traditionally, I have included a feature by Claire Arrand, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Lincoln, UK, who  explains the ethos behind such collections ( special pleading here, as my work is archived there). However, I feel it is of  general interest to get an idea of how work is preserved in University libraries around the country. In my own case, my material includes magazines and pamphlets which pre-date the internet, so they  would be lost forever if the archive did not exist.
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I have an excellent set of showcased work of individual poets. I’m sorry that I can’t mention them all but we have yet another fine Irish poet; I enjoyed Neil Slevin’s subtle use of rhyme in Sewing the Sea, and his Food for Thought is sharply pictured.  He also relates a poignant story in A Mermaid’s Song.  Ruth Ennis has  three acerbic poems, Bad Eyesight  with its sharp observation despite the title, her clever use of rhyme in Response to Feedback,  and Tusk Tusk Tusk, which is a description  of a chilly relationship.  Les Wicks’ Speculative Friction  is also sharp, but he also has some beautifully atmospheric poems with a rueful tone in The Walls About Samadhi and Christmas & the  Bicycle. I have also included our own Dave Kavanagh’s poetry, which is beautifully observed with first-rate descriptions.
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I have two sections for some choice individual poems, including (ekphrastic)  Girl Interrupted at her Music (After Johann’s  Vermeer), by Lyn Byrne for, as you know if you have read  my features, I  enjoy one form described by another.  I love the immediacy and sense of place of Front Bar Waiting,  by D L Hume, the  pathos of Dennis Moriarty’s Drunk,  and the nightmarish atmosphere in Revenant by Zebra Black, and there are  several other intriguing works.
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This week’s review features From Doll House Windows by Lorraine Carey, an excellent poet featured in the last issue. Send your books, pamphlets, chapbooks to The Blue Nib if you would like your work to be reviewed. Email submissions@thebluenib.com for the address to send them to.
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My Radio 4 reading is available now as a podcast, Boston Calling , hosted by charismatic poet, Benjamin  Zephaniah –

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Ian McMillan suggested me to the Made in Manchester team as a local poet, and I can be heard reading my poem Eastern Europeans, to make up part of the soundscape the programme created to illustrate the post-Brexit world of a mixed community. Like all these media things, metaphorically blink and you’ll miss it.

 

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