Lunar Poetry Newsletter #3

Hello. Here’s what’s going on.

First I would like to thank everyone who read last issue’s editorial (also printed on the blog, here) and sent nice replies. It was unexpected and very much appreciated. However, a few people used the word “brave”, which I found rather odd. The fact that it can be seen as a brave thing to do to talk openly about mental illness is an upsetting thought. That said, a few days after I wrote the piece, the papers were full of headlines like “MADMAN IN COCKPIT” after the incident in which a pilot apparently deliberately crashed his plane “because” he was depressed. I know from your kind emails and messages that many people who read the editorial have experienced similar problems. We are not going to get rid of the stigma which causes ignorant and hysterical reporting like that seen after the German plane crash unless we are open about our illnesses. Of course, that’s often easier said than done – for many, being open about their mental illness could have professional or personal repercussions; since that is not the case for me, however, I will attempt to be as open about it as I can.

As I mentioned in that editorial, I am currently looking for co-editors – a short advert is on the blog here. The next issue of Lunar Poetry will hopefully be the last I edit on my own. It will be another double issue. The selection process is nearly finalised, and it will be launched towards the end of June. It ought to be good. If you submitted work to the magazine before the beginning of May, you will be hearing from me this weekend.

Hopefully the co-editors will be installed by the end of June. If that is the case, we will back on the monthly track beginning on our one year anniversary in August. Gosh, but doesn’t time just whizz on by?

By then, our new bookshop ought to be open. By now you may be sick of hearing about it, but there is only just over a week left of the funding period for our Indiegogo campaign. I’ve set out why I think it’s important on the campaign page, and on the blog. If you agree, please spread the word, and donate if you can. The Indiegogo page is here. Thank you to those of you who have already done so. Your perks will be in the post in July.

Finally, a bit about the new-look website. Most of it has been moved to a WordPress site, and I have now changed the colour scheme in order to make it easier to read, as a few of you said you were having trouble with the dark lettering against a dark background. It’s not quite as aesthetically pleasing now, but it should be legible.

If you haven’t had a look at it yet, please do so (you can follow any of the links on this page, or go from the main page) – there’s a lot of new stuff on it – in particular, check out the huge number of Lunar Poetry Podcasts that have gone up over the last couple of months – and, as of next week there will be something new going up daily.

On Mondays there will be a round up of poetry stories in the UK papers. You can see the first of these here.

On Tuesdays, there will be a feature called The Number Nothing (the reasons for the name are made clear in the first instalment). The idea is to take a bad poem and point out why it is bad/take a middling-to-good poem and point out how it could be better. Basically it’s a shameless rip-off of Tim Clare’s excellent In the Barber’s Chair, but applied to poetry rather than prose. See more here. For the first week I am offering myself up as the slam-style sacrificial poet, so if you have any unaired animus towards me, now is the time to vent it. If you fancy having a poem critiqued in a brutally educational fashion, send it to the usual address, with the phrase “Number Nothing” in the subject heading and, if you wish, a pseudonym.

On Wednesdays, there will be a bookshop update. Pretty self-explanatory.

On Thursdays, Crap Verse in Ads! If poetry is so universally disliked, why does it pop up in adverts so often? And why is it always awful? Look out for the first one later today – and more, on a more sporadic basis, here.

For the end of the week: Five for Friday. Basically just five poetry-related things that have caught my eye that week. They may be gigs, individual poems or articles. They ought to give you something to read over the weekend, anyway.

On Saturdays, a guest post from one of the many really good poetry bloggers out there, or anyone else who I think is interesting and who I can inveigle into writing something for me – anyone who fancies writing something, or who would like to recommend someone to me, get in touch.

Finally, on Sundays: the return of Bad News to Verse. A topical/political poem. Send entries to the usual address with BNTV in the header.

I think that’s it, for the moment. There are a few projects coming up over the rest of the year, mostly to do with publishing. More info soon.



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