Saturday, August 09, 2008

John, and Rose, and Quincy, and Sally, and...

Dear Creekish or Chimaeric Reader,

Coming soon! The September Chimaera approaches, carrying poems, stories, reviews and articles in its maw(s) — including a Spotlight Feature on the UK poet John Whitworth. John has published ten books of verse (and a very good book on writing poetry called errmm... Writing Poetry). His poem 'The Examiners', published in The Chimaera, was voted by readers of the Times Literary Supplement to second place in TLS's Foyles Poetry Competition (details here). I love reading John's poetry for all sorts of reasons — not least because it's fun! The ludic element in his verse is extremely vigorous, and exhilarating: this is poetry that you can unashamedly enjoy reading — aloud if possible!

Anyway, read a lovely bunch of new poems by John, as well as an interview with the good fellow, and some of what other poets have to say about him — and a few other little surprises as well.

The September Chimaera will also have a 'Multum in parvo' themed section where writers will attempt to express a greast deal in relatively few words. We're pretty tight-lipped about that. 'Nuff said.

As for the next Shit Creek Review — prepare for weirdness! The normally sane, orderly, clean-minded Shit Creek Review will become strangely psychotic. Bizarre obsessions will run riot in ever-diminishing circles. Implacable compulsions will drive the writers — and the readers — relentlessly on. Compulsive reading indeed: due out sometime in September — provided I ever get my hands clean enough to type it up.

Rose Kelleher is well known to readers of The Chimaera and Shit Creek Review. SCR nominated her 'Mortimer' for the Best of the Net, and Rose, as we reported, won Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize for her forthcoming book, Bundle O' Tinder. This feisty but perfectly formed little book is full of real, live poems, some of which will bite you on the bum! We highly recommend Bundle O' Tinder which is available to pre-order here at Amazon. Rose reviewed Gail White's new book Easy Marks at Quincy Lehr's new blog The Belletrist. The Belletrist, according to Quincy, 'aims to fill something of a lacuna in the reviewing of new work—books on independent publishing houses and chapbooks in particular — from less 'established' writers, as well as to provide at least some coverage of live readings', and the site looks set to fulfil that aim admirably.

Paul Hostovsky contributed some of his work to The Chimaera's 'Belonging' feature, here. Now he too has a book forthcoming: Bending the Notes, available at Main Street Rag Store (towards the bottom of the page). So there goes the rest of your pocket money!

Sally Cook has graced our various online organs several times, with controversial prose and well-turned verse. Not content with such glory, she now has a poem, 'The Face of Morning', in the June/July 2008 issue of First Things. Tim Murphy has a poem in the August/September issue of First Things, as well. But back to Sally: check out her contributions to The Bumbershoot Annual , where you'll find three of Sally Cook's poems: one, 'Artistic Licenses' in the general section, and two parodies (one on Auden's 'The Fall of Rome' the other on Emily Dickinson's 'A Light Exists in Spring') in the Fractured Verse section. I think I recognise some of the other writers there too. Sally's been busy: her poem 'MRI' is in Contemporary Sonnet, and you'll also find work by Sally, and Joseph S. Salemi, and Juleigh Howard-Hobson, and David Anthony — all SCR/TC writers — in Poems for Big Kids.

Speaking of Joseph S. Salemi: his brief essay and three annotated translations from the Roman poet Martial were published in the latest issue of The Barefoot Muse . These are worth a read! — But only if you're not easliy shocked. Another essay on poetic composition ('Bottom's Dream') has just appeared at ShatterColors Literary Review. A pair of matched sonnets by Joseph are in the newest issue (issue #3) of Contemporary Sonnet, and two brand-new sections from his verse satire 'A Gallery of Ethopaths' have been showcased at The HyperTexts website, along with illustrations by the political cartoonist Bob Fisk.

I reside in New South wales, and went to high school in Newcastle. So speaking authoritatively as an ex-Novocastrian, I'd like to recommend one of the very best of our local live poetry venues: Poetry at the Pub, which takes place at The Northern Star Hotel, Beaumont Street, Hamilton in Newcastle, normally on the third and fifth mondays of the month. Recently Stephen Edgar (who will feature as the Spotlighted poet in The Chimaera's January 2009 issue) appeared there, and Michael Collins and David Reiter will be reading there on August 18th and September 29th repectively.

In the Write Light, Spain's hippest creative writing workshop, has ditched the hippy digs for chic boutique. For the October 1st to 5th workshop, they are moving from the campo to the town centre. Participants will enjoy the luxury of local hotel, Pousada Vagamundo. Martina Devlin, the bestselling author and tutor for this workshop will be showing would-be writers how to give their work a commercial edge and get published see their site for details.

SCR/TC will publish this newsletter on its blogs at irregular intervals, and will willingly include poetry news that I deem more or less relevant to our particular vision of poetry (there! I used the 'V' word!). But writing the newsletter up is extremely time-consuming, so be aware that producing it is not at the very top of my list of priorities: it trails behind making a living, trying to be a good family man, doing household chores, editing The Shit Creek Review and The Chimaera, helping select sonnets for 14by14, watching The Sopranos (again!), partying, pursuing mindless pleasure, playing fan-tan, staring absent-mindedly into space — oh, and trying to find time to write my own poetry in the middle of all this. Actually it's a wonder that the bloody newsletter gets published at all!

If you sent me an item of news and I've left it out, it was probably inadvertent. Email me and remind me. You know where.