Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poetry Cornwall

There has been discussion recently as a result of the Cork based magazine Southword deciding to cease as a print magazine and become an online magazine only about the decline in the numbers of print based literary magazines.

Since our Writers Group publish a magazine with poetry and prose I'm interested in other similar small magazines. Ireland does not have many of these but the UK has a large number.

In the most recent issue of Boyne Berries we published a poem by Les Merton who is the editor of Poetry Cornwall/Bardhonyeth Kernow and as a result I got a copy of the most recent issue of Poetry Cornwall. This is published three times a year and the latest issue is issue 24. It costs £3.95 and has forty pages.

Poetry Cornwall accepts poetry from around the world. There is an interesting mix of poets, styles, and subject matter, this issue has around 70 different contributors. While the magazine has a local Cornish bias with at least half of the contributors based in Cornwall it does have a number of contributions from elsewhere in the UK and some from other parts, Switzerland, at least four from the USA, one from Poland represented. There are none from Ireland in this issue but the editorial does mention that poetry in Irish has been published in the past.

The poems are a real mix of styles and forms. There is a nice mix of rhyming forms and free verse. Topics are not in any sense exclusively Cornish even among the contributors from Cornwall. Some items that caught my eye include "Fuschia Hedges" by Isabella Strachan - "They run beside us /like curtains whipped along their tracks" and another take on the digging metaphor for writing poetry in "Digging" by Peter Day - "poets dig into/ the squirming world".

Unlike many magazines where there is a one poem per page rule this magazine fits as many as possible per page. One nice feature of the magazine is the number of short poems including some haiku that are included. Each poem has to fight for attention on the page.

The publication has the feel of a magazine with a number of features rather than just a collection of poems. There is a regular Meet the Editors feature which in this issue deals with the Dawnthreader quarterly literary publication which specialises in myth, legend, lanscape, nature, spirituality. Its editor is Dawn Bauling.

Les Merton, poet is the editor and in his editorial he points out that he has published poetry in a language other than English. He lists an impressive number of languages which have been published in the magazine. These poems are translated into English, and the Cornish language Kernewek. In this issue the other language poem is in Yiddish by Lev Barinski. There is also a poem in Cornish by Tim Saunders.

The magazine's website has details on purchasing, subscribing and submitting.

1 comment:

eyanharve said...

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- St Austell