|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