The first Lunar Shorts from Edinburgh are now online, with Jake Wild Hall & Joel Auterson from Boomerang Club, and Harry Baker. You can listen to them here. There will be more going up over the next couple of weeks on a more or less daily basis.
Hello folks, here’s what’s happening.
Lunar Poetry will publish its last issue in its current format in September. It will be a double issue. There will be no issue this month. After that it will become a quarterly publication from December onward. Current subscriptions will still apply to the magazine in the new format. Poets waiting for news on work submitted prior to June 2016 will receive a response this week. Lunar is accepting submissions as usual; if you prefer to write to a brief, the Themes page will be rejigged shortly.
Put simply, producing a decent quality poetry magazine once a month is a full time job. The magazine has got to the point where it more or less pays for itself, but it is a long way away from paying for all the time I currently put into it.
Lunar’s original goals were to be frequent and cheap. Currently it is not particularly cheap and only sporadically frequent. I think such a magazine is possible and would be useful, but the publishers and editors of such a magazine would need to have far larger resources than I do.
Since Lunar cannot meet its original aims, I had considered winding it up. However, since it has begun, I think it has come to fill other roles not currently being supplied by the poetry press. First, it publishes a wider range of poetry than most other magazines, and I am pretty sure that a number of the poems published in Lunar would not be published elsewhere. You may, of course, think that they ought not to have been published anywhere but I would rather publish eclectic and interesting poetry, some of which will certainly be hated by some of the magazine’s readers, than forty copies of the same, perfectly good, poem.
Second, we are still, as far as I know, the only print poetry publication that gives serious coverage to spoken word. I have said many times that I think it is absurd that most poetry publications ignore half of contemporary poetry. Admittedly, it is difficult to do justice to spoken word in print, but hardly impossible – we manage to write about music, theatre, comedy and other artforms which exist primarily as a live experience: there is no reason we cannot do the same with spoken word.
These, I think, are important things which someone ought to be doing, so Lunar may as well carry on doing them. In addition, there are plenty of other things which I think poetry magazines could be doing which they currently are not; moving to quarterly publication will allow Lunar to attempt to do a few more of them.
Also, I will be in Edinburgh for the festival this month, conducting as many short podcasts as I can. If you have a show (or a floor to sleep on) get in touch.
Reviews printed in Issues 9 and 10 will be appearing on the blog over the next month, as will as many reviews from Edinburgh as I can get written.
Our first pop-up shop(s) will be appearing at live poetry events in the first week of September. We are ironing out the details this week, and they will be appearing on the blog very shortly, so keep your eyes peeled.
I think that’s everything for just now.
A quick update to let you in on some good news about the Lunar Poetry Podcast. The Podcast has received some funding from Arts Council England in order to extend its reach and improve its quality. David Turner and his team have already managed to bring you podcasts from Sweden, Turkey, Cuba, Nigeria and all over the UK – with this funding they will be able to get out of London more often and record interviews and performances they would previously have been unable to. They will also be able to set up a dedicated website from which all past and future podcasts will be downloadable.
Poems by Jenny Ellest, Lizzy Palmer, Sarah Taylor-Fergusson, London Undercurrents, Kat Soini, Gboyega Odubanjo, Christos Kallis, James Bell, Ray Diamond, Christopher Williams, Godefroy Dronsart, Marcus Slease, Willie James King, Jessica Wiseman Lawrence, Dennis Tomlinson, Rishi Rohatgi, Stewart Bartlam, Anne Pia, Fiona Sinclair, Susan Jordan, Holly Day, Colin Campbell Robinson, Fran Baillie, Beth McDonough, Nikki Robson, Paul McMenemy and A M Spence.
Reviews of Four Pamphlets from Eyewear, Luna Park by Grevel Lindop, Her Wings of Glass edited by Schneider, Shuttle & Woods, Hooligans by Katriona Naomi,Undisturbed Circles by Bethany W. Pope and Familiars by Linda Rose Parkes.
You can buy it here.
Paul McMenemy talks to Cat Lucas and Robert Sharp from English PEN about writers at risk. Includes readings of translations of poetry by Ashraf Fayadh and Liu Xia, as well as Andrew McMillan’s poem in response to Ashraf’s work, recorded at the Modern Literature Festival.
For more info see:
Writers in translation: http://worldbookshelf.englishpen.org/
PEN at the Ledbury Festival: https://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/…
Modern Literature Festival videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/fowlerpo…
Poetry by Ashraf Fayadh in English: https://arablit.org/?s=Ashraf+Fayadh&…
Poetry by Liu Xia in English: https://pen.org/poetry/five-poems-liu…
David Turner is in Pitsea, Essex talking to ‘The Original Punk Poet’ Garry Johnson. The pair talk poetry, Oi! and all manner of things anti-establishment (and inevitably the EU referendum). Garry reads five poems from his new collection, The Cockney Bard (New Haven Publishing).
For more info see:
http://www.twitter.com/familycourts (Garry Johnson)
United Against Austerity – Single by Garry Johnson & Insane Society
David Turner is in Peckham, south-east London talking to performance artist, writer and (some time) activist Jo Hauge. The pair discuss Jo’s involvement with the recent protest action at Tate Modern ‘Where is Ana Mendieta?’, the implications of being read as female by audiences and using humour to talk about traumatic experiences.
David Turner is at the Royal Festival Hall talking to poet, Sophie Cameron. They discuss Sophie’s writing style and motivations, stage personas and her new monthly spoken word/cabaret night Red Raw. Red Raw has a dedicated ‘fan page’ on Facebook.
Poems by Colin Pink, MV Williams, Holly Magill, Maria C McCarthy, Dave Gregg, Tom Pescatore, Jim Bennett, Anne Britting Oleson, Anthony Ward, Gillie Robic, Dennis Tomlinson, Mark Floyer, C.B. Anderson, Grahaeme Barrasford Young, Mantz Yorke, MJ Duggan, Naz Cuguoğlu, Jane Baston, Diarmuid ó Maolalai, David Turner and Christopher Barnes.
Article: Who is poetry for? Or, Why we hold our launch night in a pub in South-East London by Paul McMenemy.
Reviews of Ways to Build a Roadblock by Josh Ekroy, Short of Breath by Vivien Jones, Woodland Poems by Douglas Thornton, The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! ed. Robbi Nester, Slim Volume: No Love Lost ed. Kate Garrett, Supergrooviness by Christopher Mulrooney and The Wild Poetry Mashup, Passing Clouds, London.
You can buy the issue here.
Hello, it’s been a while since the last newsletter, so we’ve a few things to catch up on.
First of all, if you’re reading this online and are wondering why you haven’t seen it in your inbox (if you are subscribed to this newsletter), check your spam folder. We had a little trouble with spammers a few months ago, which seems to be sorted now, but which has led to some of our emails being marked as spam by some email services.
Issue 9 Launch
Issue 9 is at the press right now, and will launch at The Peckham Pelican on Tuesday, June 14th at 7.30pm. We have a number of readers from the issue, including Mark Floyer, MJ Duggan, Gillie Robic, Tim Kiely, Colin Pink and MV Williams, plus open mic spots. It’s free to get in, and it should be good.
Our previous launch was our first one at the Pelican and it was a lot of fun, and I’m glad to say we will now be there every month, provisionally on the first Tuesday of the month, from July 5th onwards. And yes, this means that we are finally returning to monthly publication.
Also, for next Tuesday, we will have ebooks ready to buy from the main site. Formatting poetry for ebook publication is a finnicky process, but one that is increasingly worth doing: in some ways, poetry is perfectly suited to be read on an ereader – consumed in short bursts while travelling or in waiting rooms, etc.. Unfortunately the technology isn’t quite at the point where converting poetry to ebook form while keeping its formatting is an easy thing to do. I’ll be discussing this further in a blog post shortly, because I think it’s an interesting subject, and a post might be of some use to anyone else considering doing the same thing.
Finally, there is no Audio Page corresponding to Issue 9. We are looking at another way of showcasing audio poetry. With any luck we will be able to give you more details by the end of the month.
A quick congratulation to all the winners and nominees, which included one of our new co-editors, Stuart A. Paterson, for best pamphlet. Lunar Poetry Podcasts was longlisted for Best Wildcard, and many former podcast interviewees featured on the shortlists, including winners Emily Harrison (Best Spoken Word Performer), Bethany W. Pope (Best Reviewer, for which our own David Turner was longlisted) and Abi Palmer (Best Wildcard).
We have provisionally organised our first pop-up appearance – as you may know, until we are able to find permanent premises, we are planning to pop up at various poetry events and venues. As soon as we have concrete details, we’ll let you know. We are also planning to set up online: the website is progressing, and I’m hopeful we’ll have something to show there too pretty soon.
Thanks for reading – maybe I’ll see you at The Peckham Pelican next Tuesday.