Monday 6 February 2012

Magazine Moment (30): Poems in Bengali / American Magazine, Shabdaguchha

Not exactly a [Keatsian] fading rose - as in my poem, 'Swansong' - but more picturesque

I discovered this morning that the latest issue of Shabdaguchha, a Bengali-American publication, is now online and features three of my poems. Hard copies are also available.

Shabdaguchha is under the editorship of Bangladesh-born, New York-based poet, novelist, critic and translator, HassanAl Abdullah. You can reads a feature about him here

Issue 53/54 includes a section prepared by Peter Thabit Jones (editor of The Seventh Quarry magazine) and dedicated to the work in English of 'Welsh Poets'. It is always a pleasure (though a rare one) to find that David (Gill) and I have poetry in the same volume! Our first joint appearance in the poetry press was, I believe, in the Pairs Issue of Purple Patch, edited by Geoff Stevens, whose recent death brought shockwaves of sadness to the poetry fraternity. Our paired poems on that occasion were - not surprisingly - on the archaeology and topography of Greece. Our Shabdaguchha pieces have been published alongside poems by Peter Thabit Jones, Aeronwy Thomas (d.2009), Jean Salkilld (leader of Swansea's Tuesday Poetry group) and Lynn Hopkins.

In addition to the Welsh poetry, the current magazine includes sections in Bengali and English. A poem called 'No Cats on the Yangtze' by Stanley H. Barkan, editor of Cross-Cultural Communications in New York, particularly caught my eye. My thanks to HassanAl Abdullah - and many congratulations on the 14th anniversary of the magazine. 

Details of how to purchase a hard copy of the magazine can be found by clicking here. Issue 53/54 Vol. 14, no.1-2, July-Dec 2011 of Shabdaguchha contains the following poems by the Gills ...

  • Elegy for Idris Davies
  • Preseli Blue
  • Swansong
  • Standing Alone
  • From Syracuse to Manhattan
  • Gloucestershire in the Negev

Saturday 4 February 2012

Magazine Moment (28): TIPS FOR WRITERS 87

Cover design: Wendy Webb

I wonder how many of us you can identify!

Wendy's latest edition of TIPS contains 31 pages of poetry, along with reviews, competition news and readers' feedback. Many of us became acquainted with Wendy through her new poetry form challenges, but if you are expecting a magazine full of Villanelles, Sonnets, Davidians and Echotains, please think again for this is the Free Verse number. Those of us who feel particularly at home among the poetry forms need not worry, for a few formal contributions may, apparently, 'have slipped in'!

Congratulations are in order, for Wendy has taken Joint First Place with Bernard M.Jackson in the Reach Poetry (Indigo Dreams Publishing) 'Highest Number of Appearances in the Box' category AND Second Place (after Bernard Jackson) in the Reach Poet of the Year section. Well done, Wendy! And the 'Box', for the uninitiated, is the box containing the names of the poets who have received the highest number of votes from their Reach Poetry peers in a given issue. 

Having moved from Wales only three months ago, my eye was immediately drawn to 'Hymns and Arias' by Peter Davies. There are resonances, to my ear at least, with the autobiographical verse of Idris Davies. The speaker (perhaps Peter himself) describes familiar, if diverse, scenes from Ebbw Vale in the heart of The Valleys to the beautiful rugged coasts of Gower (Oxwich Bay) and Pembrokeshire (Strumble Head). Aberfan, Nye Bevan and 'King Coal' are all mentioned. This fine Villanelle, which presumably crept in to the Free Verse issue by virtue of being a prize winning poem in the November competition, draws to a close with a memory of sitting in a 'frosty per' in Pisgah, one of the Welsh chapels. This is a fine poem of love and loss.  

Mention should also be made of Ronnie Goodyer's 'Summer Friendship, Fernworthy' with its arresting lines,

             bell-heather rained violet and pink
             in an abandonment of grass ...

Other poems that particularly appealed include 'Ezekiel's Dream' by Joan Sheridan Smith, 'Lotos Land' (which really made me smile), 'Winter Poem' by Michael Newman (with its harsh and unrelenting refrain of 'again' and 'again') and 'High Tide' by Norman Bissett,

So thank you, Wendy, for another beautifully produced publication.
How did you fare in the Cover Quiz?
  • Norman and Faith Bissett
  • Anne Mullender
  • Gerald Hampshire
  • Ronnie Goodyer
  • Bernard M. Jackson
  • No prizes for this one (or the others, for that matter!)
  • Michael Newman - under Bernard Jackson
  • Wendy M. Lister
  • Kay D. Weeks
  • TIPS Editor, Wendy Webb

Friday 3 February 2012

Publication Pointer (5): Seurat, Pointillism (and the 2012 Olympics)

© Caroline Gill 2012

Well, I wonder how you rate my Pointillistic view of the Eiffel Tower!

I have not been in Paris for over quarter of a century, so my photographs, taken on my small 'point-and-shoot' camera are feeling their age. I cropped one and hope you will feel that Photoshop has helped me to jazz it up ... just a little!

Having recently returned from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, with its truly amazing works (and here - not forgetting the monkey in the painting mentioned below) by Seurat, I am almost ashamed to post my electronic attempt. However, my affinity with the artist's Pointillistic techniques goes back almost into the last century, and earned me the nick-name of the 'Dotty Painter' (or was it the 'Spotty Painter'?) in my Friday art class! 

My poem, 'Harmony in Fragmentation', an ekphrastic piece concerning Seurat's painting, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (the study for this painting is here in New York), has just been published by Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling of Indigo Dreams Publishing in issue 161 of Reach Poetry magazine. 


Curiously, Seurat seems to be currently in the news. This Seurat-style Olympic Games photo might make you smile!