This is a very exciting issue as it contains the results of The Winter / Spring Chapbook contest 2017/18.
We are so pleased with the fine poems that have been submitted for Kevin Higgins to judge. In a fortnight’s time there will be a bumper issue 30, containing a taster poem from each of the winners, whose full submissions will feature in The Blue Nib Chapbook 2, out soon! Issue 30 will also include 8 poems by each of the 10 commended posts, so it is going to be a feast.
Our featured poet this time is Emma McKervey, and Dave has interviewed her for this issue. She has included a range of topics in her poetry, but has treated each one with astute observation and precise description. Margaret Siu writes such delicate but heart stopping poetry, full of anguish and David Subacchi has given us a varied set of poems, all bedded firmly in reality.
Jennifer Fytelson’s poems are sharp, sardonic, and full of energy and so evocative that America is displayed in all its fast paced complexity.
Katherine Waudby’s Gibbons take us back to the poetry of Gordon Meade, with the same awkward interface between the wild and the captive, and how we can harm what we love. Robert Klein Engler references to Musée des Beaux Arts by W. H. Auden: About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters… and his poetry is self aware, and interested in how a poem is made as well as involved in the pain and intricacies of life. Stephen Byrne, too, is good on thoughtful observation and the idea of mortality, even if it wrapped in the humour and pace of his poem on Mick Jagger’s song: sadly, time really is not on our side. On this note, A Poetry Of Lossy Media by Thomas Park also looks at the depredations of time and how it marks and changes what it touches,
We have an article from Dave Kavanagh about how writers have overcome obstacles and managed to write, which is a sharp reminder of how many ways writers can be sidetracked or prevented from writing. It is important to consider the effects of depression on writers, too. They are often cursed with this dreadful malady. Richard Andrew Howe has been honest about his depression in his biography and I am including his Bastard Memory in this issue.
Jane Simmons has written another excellent review. She has a particular talent for identifying what is salient in a writer’s work, and for close and careful analysis.
As an afterthought, I have to say I enjoyed Jonathan Humble’s biography.
Shirley Bell, Editor