Monday, July 15, 2019

My Guest Editing of STRIDE magazine Summer 2019 (links to all items)

I have guest-edited a fortnight of posts for STRIDE magazine. I thought it might absorb some of the energy I still had in reserve for a poetry magazine that I was thinking of starting myself, called 3 famous aviators, and which, like a number of other assumed ‘ambitions’ waiting for ‘retirement’ (that which is not one), passed me by.
Rupert Loydell at work
Rising to editor Rupert Loydell’s kind invitation to guest-edit for a couple of weeks over the summer, I decided not to cast my net out widely into the world, but to call upon the local resources of the Poetry and Poetics Research Group at Edge Hill University, which I started 20 years ago this autumn, and which is now coordinated by poet and poetry organiser Joanne Ashcroft. This wide-ranging body of writers presents work in poetry and poetics (and occasionally criticism), but isn’t a workshop. (It has also published its own ‘Journal’ which will be available soon.)
Here I call upon current members and, although I received an overwhelmingly male (and white) response from its mixed membership, and that was a disappointment, at least one of the two reviews I freely commissioned is of the work of a woman writer.

My own contribution was an interview with a former member of the group, so that seems appropriate.
Why has Rupert done this? He explains: ‘I am hoping it will introduce some new writers and readers to Stride.’ I hope so too, although former members Andrew Taylor and former and present member Matt Fallaize (neither represented here) are frequent contributors as poets and reviewers for Stride. (So am I, as it happens.) There's more about Andrew here from a decade ago, and here from earlier posts on this blog(zine), and a post about Matt here.

I haven’t set out to prove anything by my selection. I hope you like it. It’s probably cured me of wanting to run a magazine full time, but doing the interview with Scott Thurston (short, focussed on one issue) has stirred a desire to continue this avenue of talking poetics, as it were. It is a bit of a shock that I’ve only conducted four interviews (for publication), and so long ago: With Robert Creeley: ‘Stories: Being an Information: An Interview,’ in 1984; with Roy Fisher: Turning the Prism (Toad’s Damp Press, 1985) (those two were conducted within a fortnight of one another!); Lee Harwood: ‘So It Shifts’, in The Salt Companion to Lee Harwood ed. Robert Sheppard, Cambridge: Salt, 2007; and now this one with Scott Thurston, 2019! There are huge gaps of time there. Here's an old (but not the oldest) post about Scott.

I shall post a link to each contribution as it is posted. But of course they may all be found on Stride, here.

Monday 15th: Adam Hampton, 'Tongue': here. (And an earlier Pages post here.)
Tuesday 16th: Hampton again, 'Atom', here.
Wednesday 17th: Christopher Madden reviews Sarah Crewe's Floss here.
Thursday 18th: Joanne Ashcroft, 'Emptied Cradles' (part one, Autumn, here)
Friday 19th: Ashcroft, 'Emptied Cradles' (part two, Winter, here)
Saturday 20th: Ashcroft, 'Emptied Cradles' (part three, Spring, here)
Sunday 21st: Ashcroft, Emptied Cradles' (part four, Summer, here). More on Joanne here.

Monday 22nd: 'Writing Poetry and Dancing: An Interview with Scott Thurston', HERE
Tuesday 23rd: Roy Bayfield: 'Train Lines Angled to a Shimmering Horizon', HERE.
Wednesday 24th: Roy Bayfield: 'Staffage' (a new word for me, usefully defined) HERE
Thursday 25th: Roy Bayfield: 'Suburban Homecoming' HERE. 
Friday 26th: Roy Bayfield: 'Confetti Arrives from Other Times'. Read that here.
More on Roy Bayfield (my fellow Sussex poet) Here. And my role in his leaving do here.
Saturday 27th: Another concise review: Tom Jenks reviews Marcus Slease's The Green Monk, HERE. (There's more on Tom here.)
Sunday 28th: Patricia Farrell: from 'Rime'. Patricia’s website is but also see here.

Note (Sunday 28th July 2019): It's been a pleasure and an honour to present this work over the last two weeks. I have enjoyed both seeing the work daily, and spreading news of it through social media. I think I was right to limit my 'pool' of writers to the PPRG; how else to select down a selection to a select two dozen slots. I think I've also proved that I wouldn't want to run a magazine full time, but I do have an editorial urge that is worth cultivating now and then. And I did enjoy conducting the interview, foccussed on one aspect of Thurston's work. And thanks again to Rupert for letting me loose on his Stride site! 

Andrew Taylor and Angela Keaton from the early years

These links take you to earlier PPRG activities, particularly the Going Public talk series we organised to celebrate ten years of literary activism in 2009. Around that time the membership consisted of:  Andrew Taylor, Scott Thurston, Neil Addison, Bill Drennan, Dee McMahon, Matt Fallaize, Daniele Pantano, Steve Van Hagen, Michael Egan, Colin Harris, Patricia Farrell, Angela Keaton, Alice Lenkiewicz and me.

This post celebrates 25 years of writing at Edge Hill (now 30 by the way) and features 25 Edge Hill poets:

My most recent publication, Micro Event Space, is available now. Details here!

My website may be found here.