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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Editorial to Pages : Third Series

I have been posting these Pages for two years now. It’s time for rest and reflection. The aim of this series was to present a BLOGZINE, to utilise the technology of the blog to produce a little magazine (in the same way that 1960s mimeos mags appropriated the office duplicator). In effect, something different happened: I produced a hybrid form, combining the personal on-going reportage (but I hope not the customary chatter) of the blog, with the compendious embrace of the magazine. There’s nothing wrong in that; it’s simply what’s happened.

As you can see from the Index below, I have published many writers other than myself. I am particularly proud to have presented some new writers here (which has always been the aim of Pages). But I am less sure about the photo of Django’s guitar, or some of my own contributions! They remind me of that Radio 2 programme where John Dankworth and Cleo Laine invite friends into their house; again, there’s nothing wrong in that.

The arrival of photographs has made a difference to the blogzine, of course, and it was particularly good to record the Allen Fisher Poetry Buzz in some detail. Photographs seem so much more suited to the medium than poems!

One of the things I thought might happen (to me) through the experience of editing the third series is that I might learn better to read poetic texts (particularly ones which fill more than a frame) on screen. This hasn’t happened. I still find this difficult and, if research tells us that it is 25% less effective to proof-read on screen than on paper, then there must be a similar loss of clarity when faced with a literary text (I am not talking about web-works, written especially for the medium, of course).

That makes me wonder whether I might devise something more statement-based in the future, for the fourth series. I am going to rest this blogzine, perhaps until July 2007, which would be the twentieth anniversary of the first fascicle edition of Pages! (I’ve a few ideas, constellated around my interest in poetics as a speculative writerly discourse – I am currently thinking about this for my inaugural lecture – but I haven’t settled upon a specific project.)

Watch this space – and meanwhile have a look again at those Sinclair poems or Dee MacMahon’s two contributions, or that Oppen thing, follow that link to those poems you didn’t read the first time round, or give Scott Thurston another chance….

(If you are really quick you can buy some earlier Pages from Alan Halsey Books at
Alan Halsey / West House Books, 40 Crescent Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield S7 1HN


Sheppard (Robert) ed. Pages. A miscellany of early issues, from both the first and second series: 1987-88: 1-8, 17-24, 25-32, 33-40, 49-56, 57-64, 65-72, 73-80, 89-96, 91-104 (sic), 105-112, 113-120, 129-136. Contribs. incl. A.Fisher, Miller, Edwards, Seed, Clarke, Chaloner, Cobbing, Caddel, Raworth, Hawkins & O'Sullivan. Together w/ a few unnumbered pages, supplements, etc.

The collection £10!)

Robert Sheppard

Pages Third Series: Blogzine 2005-7

© The Authors, Artists and Photographers named, 2005, 2006, 2007