Monthly Archives: February 2019

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Alwyn Marriage

The Wombwell Rainbow

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

Alwyn Marriage

http://www.marriages.me.uk/alwyn 

Alwyn’s ten books include poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She has won a number of competitions and is very widely represented in magazines, anthologies and on-line. She has appeared at many literary festivals and other literary events and gives readings all over the world. Her latest books are Rapeseed (a novel) and In the image: portraits of mediaeval women (poetry collection).

Formerly a university philosophy…

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POETRY MAGAZINES WITH IMPORTANT SOUNDING NAMES

antony owen poetry

close up of a sign against white background Photo by Tayeb MEZAHDIA on Pexels.com

Met a woman from Hiroshima whose skin hung from her fingernails

she watched it blow like voile in the purple gamma fog

nobody wanted to hear her tale, “move on” they said.

I wrote an important poem about her and sent it to “The Albino Hare Journal”

They were looking for poems on syntactic compounds of conflict

I broke a rule of not choosing Times New Roman, 11.5 font.

Met a man from nowhere you’ve heard of who put out a blitz with his eyes,

he was just a boy you passed as an old man and you never batted an eyelid,

when he passes on his epitaph will be in any old font, his life was a poem.

I wrote an important poem about the dirt in his fingernails he couldn’t wash off,

“it’s all I had left of my Dad when we…

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Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Juliet Cook

The Wombwell Rainbow

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

malformed confetti

Juliet Cook

Juliet Cook’s poetry has appeared in a small multitude of magazines. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, recently including a collaboration with j/j hastain called “Dive Back Down” (Dancing Girl Press, 2015), and an individual collection called “From One Ruined Human to Another” (Cringe-Worthy Poet’s Collective, 2018).
Cook’s first full-length individual poetry book, “Horrific Confection”, was published by BlazeVOX more than ten years ago. Her…

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Five poems by Jeff Bagato

the curly mind linguistically innovative poetry - weird & risky

some-when_Page_1some-when_Page_2dose-applausehold-upreinforcement-labelsmy-turn_Page_1my-turn_Page_2A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, glitch video, street art and pop surrealism paintings. His poetry has appeared in many journals including Empty Mirror, Otoliths, Ex Ex Lit, The New Post Literate, Gold Wake Live, and Streetcake. Short fiction has recently appeared in Gobbet and The Colored Lens. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Computing Angels (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com.

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Setting Fire to the Train Tracks to Get the Snow to Melt, by Rupert M Loydell

I am not a silent poet

It’s not unexpected, it’s not a surprise,
it’s not even a snowstorm, 20cm of the stuff
on a main road and the county grinds to a halt.
There’s only one gritter for us all, we’ve run out
of salt, and some stupid driver had an accident
the moment the first snowflake fell. Elsewhere,
people have left their cars and walked away,
and a school are bedding down for the night.
You couldn’t make it up. I haven’t. It might be
cold, it might be icy, we will have to stay home.
Funny, I had a coat, a scraper and simply drove
slow. I think it has happened here before
but you wouldn’t know it. We are busy stockpiling
food and buckets of water in the cupboard
in case Europe turns the supply off. We grew
our own veg and won the war and we don’t want
foreigners here. We’d rather…

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Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Julia Webb

The Wombwell Rainbow

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.

The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

Threat Cover WEB

Julia Webb

graduated from UEA’s poetry MA in 2010. She lives in Norwich where she works for Gatehouse Press, is a poetry editor for Lighthouse and teaches creative writing. Her first collection, Bird Sisters, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2016.  Her second collection, Threat, will be published by Nine Arches in May 2019. Her poem ‘We is in the bank” won the 2018 Battered Moons poetry competition. To find…

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some time we are heroes by reuben woolley, reviewed by Clara B. Jones

some time we are heroes
Reuben Woolley
2018
corrupt press (Luxembourg) https://www.corruptpress.com/books/stwah.shtml
15 Euros
81 pp

Reviewed by Clara B. Jones. First published on The Bitchin’ Kitsch: https://issuu.com/chris_talbot/docs/bkwinter2019issue

 

“I’m interested in a poetry version of what free jazz is to jazz.” Reuben Woolley

“No good poetry is free.” Reuben Woolley

The first time I read, some time we are heroes, my reaction was: “Ah! Some time we are all heroes!” However, to attempt to read the author’s intentions too closely would be to lose a sense of poetic improvisation inspired by the substance and flow of jazz. These are collage poems woven together by a tale of two broken persons struggling to communicate. At points, the story is heartbreaking, and the experimental nature of Woolley’s writing befits the indeterminacy and mystery evoked by each piece.

Paul Stephens, Natalia Cecire, and others have pointed out that the “experimental” in literature is difficult to define. Historically, the genre, Experimental Literature*, was a reaction to the subjective nature of writing by Romantic poets (e.g., Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats)—attempting to be more objective, more scientific. Gertrude Stein took this task literally by conducting research with the psychologist, William James, at Harvard, and her characteristic use of repetition in her works reflected the role of replication in validating scientific experiments. For purposes of the present review, I follow Theodor Adorno’s somewhat imprecise definition discussed by Stephens whereby experimentation is “a method by which the artist seeks unforeseen outcomes.”

Reuben Woolley, a Brit living in Spain, is a highly-regarded poet who has been featured in publications such as jacket2. He edits the online journals, The Curly Mind, a venue for innovative poetry, and, I am not a silent poet, an online journal dedicated to poetry addressing all types of abuse, an overtly political mission. Although, the poems in some time we are heroes are not explicitly political, Woolley has published with Erbacce, a widely-recognized progressive press in the UK, and his poems have appeared in the online journal, Proletarian Poetry. The author communicated with me recently that, “Among the influences on the work are a wide range of British, American and European poets, writers such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, whose plays I consider to be among the greatest poetry of the       20th Century, and musicians such as Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan, Roy Harper, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Terry Riley.” Though the epigraphs to this review may appear to be contradictory, Woolley has made clear that his writing process and conventions, including his use of white spaces, is intentional. Indeed, the poems in this collection are carefully crafted examples of innovative literary minimalism.

Within the genre, “experimental,” some time we are heroes can be considered a collection of collage poems for which words, phrases, and sentence fragments do not necessarily follow logically from one another, having the effect of isolating the words in a manner that makes them more or less equivalent in weight or importance to what a typical SENTENCE might be in a more traditional poem. In some ways, this is similar to the weight or significance given to single lines when the first letter of the first word of a line is capitalized for each line of a poem [as per, for example, many poems by Wallace Stevens and John Ashbery]. Collage elements are, particularly, enhanced by the use of white spaces that might, also, be viewed as erasure and that highlight the rhythms inherent to jazz’s improvisation [“ i just tick/for syncopation/ he says.who cares/for words”]. Some critics have suggested that using white spaces may indicate a subject that is otherwise absent, perhaps suggesting all that goes unsaid between mary and john, the central characters of the book.

Woolley’s use of periods between words, also, highlights rhythmic components of language, creating chord-like components, similar to chords in a traditional piece of music or to the typical 12-chord structure of jazz compositions. Other features that mark Woolley’s collection as “experimental” include titles that, for the most part, bear no apparent relationship to the poem that follows. Further, the absence of caps throughout the text is a convention having the effect of not privileging one word over another—even “given” names: mary, john [“nothing is a name.say nothing”].

Like Stein mentioned above, repetition plays a central role in some time we are heroes. The couple, mary and john [“sad john/said mary”], appear over and over as their troubled relationship is depicted, including, references to alcoholism [“& how john/was always there/with an ear & a drunk”]; allusions to mary’s addiction [“the show/couldn’t start.mary/had to place/ the needle/ just so/the tracks.the traces”]. Within these disturbed and disturbing scenarios, a baby appears [“ I bear/a daughter/a john/& stitches”]—perhaps evidence that john and mary still maintain some level of physical intimacy in an otherwise fractured bond.

The repetition of wet things—liquid things—is ubiquitous throughout the text, [ e.g., water, blood, rain, beer, breast milk, ocean, liquor, tears], and the occasional use of “cut” or “cutting” introduces dark elements. Woolley’s symbolism is understated though one cannot overlook biblical meaning in mary’s and john’s names and references to a life force by employing “blood,” “red,” and water. Of course, the color, “red,” also, indicates, danger, a signifier for the perilous emotional path upon which the couple treads.

On balance, some time we are heroes is the most impressive volume of poetry that I have read in some time. Because of thematic and symbolic repetition, the book coheres as a unified text despite collage and other innovative, experimental elements. Woolley’s reputation as a mature poet is well-deserved, and I look forward to reading his future work.

*For a broad overview of this topic see: Bray J, Gibbons A, McHale B, Eds. (2015) The Routledge companion to experimental literature. Routledge, London and New York.

stweh-cover-page-001

 

Clara B. Jones practices writing in Silver Spring, MD (USA) and conducts research on experimental literature, as well as, radical publishing. Among other works, Clara is author of the poetry collection, /feminine nature/, published in 2017 by Gauss PDF.