On joining the Elbow Room team…

Yes, it’s official… I’m now a part of the editorial team for Elbow Room!

When I first came across Elbow Room, I knew it was something I had to be involved in and, back in August, I was delighted to have some of my work printed in the very first volume of the magazine.

Now, just a couple of months later, I have been invited to be a part of this little micro press as part of the editorial team. Since I announced it on Twitter a few days ago, a few people have asked me why I was so eager to get involved, so I thought I would share with you some thoughts on joining the team…

Firstly, I loved the concept of Elbow Room from the very beginning. I have been involved in other projects and magazines (such as Popshot) in which poetry is placed alongside illustration and other art forms, and for me, that’s something that really excites me. No art form stands alone, separate from its counterparts. Creativity breeds creativity and each person has their own way of exploring and expressing their reactions to the world around them, whether that’s with words or film or paint or sound. And I really like the idea of bringing all those different ways of looking at the world, of re-interpreting the world, and putting them alongside each other. It creates a dialogue. And I think that’s a good thing.

Secondly, in the small presses (and micro presses such as this one) there is a lot of risk involved. A lot of good risk. Small presses are exciting because they are places where new work is seen for the first time, experiments are made, risks are taken, boundaries and rules bent and broken. They are places where new voices are given a platform. They are full of innovation. They are full of unseen things, previously hidden things, little gems waiting to be discovered. And most of all, they are passionate about what they do. Everything, in my opinion, that art, in all its forms and guises, should be about.

And lastly, most importantly, it’s bloody good fun!

I’m so glad to be a part of this particular little micro press and cannot wait to get sifting through the submissions!  There’s still time to get your work in the next issue, so if you want to be involved, make sure you check out the Elbow Room blog for details.

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Popshot, Popshot!!

The new edition of Popshot Magazine has finally arrived!  It’s been through some changes since the last issue, adding some flash and short fiction to the mix, and has re-launched stronger, better and cooler than ever before!

I was delighted to have a poem included in issue 7 earlier in the year, having been a huge fan of the magazine since I first stumbled across its papery walls some time ago.  Now, I am delighted to have one of my latest poems, How to Construct a Bird, in their newest issue, issue 8, as well!

Make sure you go, check out the sample pages and then buy a copy if you like what you see!  Better still, consider taking out a subscription – which quite frankly is a bargain!

NEWSFLASH!

Back in May, my poem, Outside, was selected as part of the Art in the Underbelly Exhibition in association with Popshot.  14 poems were illustrated by 14 different artists and all displayed alongside eachother at the AITU space in Norfolk.  It was also featured as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival visual arts programme.

Unfortunately, for technical reasons, I was unable to share this at the time, but am delighted to be able to share this with you now.

Tommy Perman created a beautiful illustration for my poem, and will also be displaying it, along with my poem, at an exhibition of his work at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh in December.  More information on that can be found here.

Here is the poem, and the illustration.

Outside, Tommy Perman (.pdf download)

Outside

Outside, she stoops to pick up milk.
The street stands still. Holds breath.

New. The air is clear, receptive
and poised to listen to birds

playing flutes from telegraph poles
lined on wires, meandering melodies

with a stutter, sudden wavers
new and unsure.

Outside. She’s missed its’ airs,
its’ subtle fidgeting

the brushing of skins. Kissings.
Even greys of spring daylight

cause eyes to squint, retract.
How easy to become unaccustomed.

Uneasy. The stillness exaggerates
and draws sharp, turns familiar

to foreign over nights.