Saturday, 29 January 2011

Magazine Moment (19) : TIPS for Writers 81

'the nimble acrobat'
'How like the nimble acrobat he springs
from branch to branch ...'

from BLUE TIT by Bernard M. Jackson, p.25



2011 marks the 10th anniversary of 'TIPS for Writers', the magazine of Norfolk Poets and Writers, edited by Wendy Webb. I would like to congratulate Wendy on the success of this unique publication. It has gone from strength to strength over the years, reaching out to many new writers with poetic aspirations. Its pages have been graced by the work of more established writers, too - Sophie Hannah and Alison Chisholm, to name but a couple. Bernard M. Jackson and Norman Bissett have been of great assistance: they are the authors of many of the reviews that have appeared in the magazine over the years.

Wendy's competitions have challenged us all. Her new poetry forms, such as the Davidian, the Echotain and the Andropian, have caused us to flex our poetic muscles on numerous occasions. TIPS poets have met with success in national and international competitions: Claire Knight, for example, won the Haiku section in the International Poetry Competition of the New Zealand Poetry Society in 2009. Her Haiku (俳句) have appeared on the prestigious Snapshot Press Haiku calendar.

Many pay to subscribe to Wendy's magazine, which comes out 6x a year and costs £3 an issue. Others prefer to receive the free electronic journal, eTIPS, in their inbox. TIPS, I believe, began as a kind of postal writing circle, appealing particularly to those who - for various reasons - did not find it easy to meet up with other poets. I, for one, have valued this particular ethos, and have made new 'writing friends' as a result. 

The latest edition has a crisp kingfisher-blue cover. It contains details of forthcoming competitions in celebration of the anniversary. The poems in this issue are very varied in style and theme. 'The Cell Phone' by Kay Weeks from Maryland is a Sestina. David Norris-Kay's contribution is a Tanka. The Terza Rima and Haiku put in an appearance alongside other crafted poems that have no formal name.

Not surprisingly for a number that comes out in January, several poems have winter themes. Anne Smith's 'Snow' evokes a compelling winter world in ten short lines. Wendy's sparrows 'twitter on bare twigs' ('Winter'), while Bernard's garden visitor 'sings on trembled stems' ('Blue Tit'). Blue is 'my' colour, so I was naturally drawn to 'Still Vibrating Blue' by Roger Elkin, in which he paints that distinctive Adriatic shade for us, in a disconcerting quivering tone, somewhere 'between aquamarine and turquoise'. The poems range in length from the Sestina down to Diana Mendel's three-word nutshell, '3 Rs' (which is part of a sequence).

Wendy's latest book in her 'Mermaid' series is reviewed by Bernard M. Jackson. Wendy interviews fellow editor, Ronnie Goodyer of Indigo Dreams, about his forthcoming anthology, 'Soul Feathers', in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. You can read more about this project here in a report in The Eastern Evening News.

Happy Birthday, TIPS for Writers - and here's to the next decade!

If you are interested in joining the TIPS community, you might like to find Wendy on Facebook. Do take a look at Wendy's sites:

1 comment:

Marc Latham said...

Lovely picture and great review Caroline.