No 11 - May 2000
Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here?
.... Is misery
Right before our eyes?
This issue features 19 of the most exciting and interesting young poets writing in Britain at present (see below), and is built around a loose theme of social intercourse. Here are workplace poems and stories, poems of leisure activity (3 swimming-pool poems!) of low-life, institutions, caring, pleasure and pain.
Humour is present from Tôpher Mills and Mike Hoy among others, and what better to end the issue than Chris Torrance’s extended riff of celebration to Britain collectively letting its hair down, a piece I’m particularly proud to publish. I’m also pleased to present Bob Cockburn’s anguished prose account of survival in a world of madness, Christine Kennedy’s collaborative multi-media text, Rupert M. Loydell’s contemporary collage of our age of rock, beat and performance, and some very fine poems by a number of the best contemporary U.S writers, amongst much else of value.
I’m also publishing 4 poems from the early 80s by the north of England poet William Corner Clarke, who since 1990, when last heard of in Lancaster, seems to have disappeared without trace. These poems originally appeared in a small Cumbrian based mag, RAVEN, but I believe they are as fresh and alive now as they were then, and deserve a further airing, so that a poet with a unique use of short-line speech rhythms in which he achieves a truly lyrical voice, should not fade into oblivion. If he has produced more recent work, I would like to see it, and if he reads this, I apologise for using his work without consent, but I have made every effort to trace him. I am very grateful to Len Gordon, editor of RAVEN in the early 80s, for his permission to reprint these poems.
The 19 young writers featured in this issue are scattered through the pages, and in approximate ascending age order, are as follows:
BECKY SWAN is sixteen and has had a short story accepted by Box of Dragons, and 4 poems published previously, 3 in Poetry Now anthologies, and one in Eclipse magazine.
THOMAS KENDALL is seventeen and previously unpublished.
EMMA McGORDON is seventeen and attended workshops for young writers in West Cumbria with Paul Summers, Ian Dowson and Barry MacSweeney. She has read locally and in London and Dorset, and her first collection, The Hangman and the Stars, is due shortly. This is her first magazine appearance.
RICHARD EVANS is eighteen and has attracted positive interest from his 4 poems that have appeared in previous issues of FIRE.
REBECCA WILSON is eighteen and has attended creative writing workshops with Lloyd Robson & Patrick Jones in S.Wales, with poems published in Blue magazine & The Big Issue Cymru.
SAM GEALL is in his late teens and is a 6th former reading English at Dulwich College, London. These are his first published poems.
HEATHER DOCHERTY is nineteen and I believe this is her first published poem.
STEPHEN RUDD is also nineteen and also I believe unpublished up to now.
JAMES DEBOO is twenty and previously unpublished. He is a final year student.
JENNY REDMAN is in her early twenties and studying English at Cardiff University. This is her first publication.
CHLOË MEAKIN is twenty-two and lives in Clacton-on-Sea where she works for a camping firm. She is a writer of plays and filmscripts - having had several performed - as well as poetry, 3 of which were short-listed for the 1996 T.S.Eliot Poetry Prize, and 3 others published in anthologies. This is her first magazine publication.
ASHLEY FAULKNER is twenty-two and having recently completed an M.A. in Creative Poetry at the University of East Anglia, is studying for a Ph.D on the later poems of Philip Larkin. He is from Belfast, and has had a number of poems accepted by magazines in the last year.
KERRY ANDREW is twenty-two, studying for an M.A. in Composition at York, and recently published a collection JAZZFISH. She has also appeared in Buzzwords, Pennine Ink and Soup Dragon magazines.
LOUISE LUCAS is in her early twenties and has been published several times in previous issues of FIRE; her poems are now beginning to attract wider attention.
B.HOLLAND is in his mid-twenties and as far as I’m aware this is his first publication.
ROBERT POTTER is from York, studied in Birmingham, and now teaches English in Budapest. He is in his mid-twenties, and poems have appeared in previous issues of FIRE.
DAN WYKE is in his mid-twenties and runs reminiscensce groups for the elderly in his home town of Brighton. He received an Eric Gregory Award last year and his poems have appeared in a number of magazines.
CATHERINE SIMMONDS is from Dorset where she still lives. She is in her late twenties and has read her poems at local readings. This is her first publication.
SARAH McCOURT is a Plymouth poet in her late twenties and had poems in FIRE no.8.
It has proved impossible in this issue to provide more than a glimpse of what the above young poets are writing. Many will be appearing with larger selections of their work in future issues of FIRE.
Notes on other contributors new to FIRE in this issue -
BOB BEAGRIE works as a literature development officer on Teesside & is involved in multi-cultural arts and mixed-media projects in the area.
TOM CLARK is a widely-respected U.S. poet with many published books to his name, inc. the most highly-rated of the many biographies of Jack Kerouac. Among his many books of poetry are Sleepwalker’s Fate, (new & selected poems 1965-1991, Black Sparrow) & more recently White Thought (Hard Press/The Figures, 1997) & The Spell: A Romance
(Black Sparrow, Spring 2000).
WILLIAM CORNER CLARKE - see introductory notes.
BOB COCKBURN is primarily a singer-songwriter active in the Oxford area with 3 recorded albums to his name. He also had a poem in the anthology Island City (1999).
JENNIFER COMPTON is a New Zealand poet now living in Australia, widely published.
NOEL CONNEELY teaches in West Wicklow and has been published in Irish small press poetry magazines.
SUSAN DARLINGTON is a new poet to me.
ADELE DAVID has appeared in a number of magazines & anthologies outside as well as within the U.K.
JANET DUBÉ’s work has appeared from time to time over the years to much acclaim.
RICHARD GEORGE is little published up to now.
TRISH HAWKHEAD likewise, as far as I’m aware.
NEIL K. HENDERSON has been publishing his poems and articles in the small presses since 1 987, and had two poems in the anthology Mystery of the City (Photon Press, 1997).
NORTON HODGES’ work has appeared in magazines such as Terrible Work in recent years.
ELIZABETH HOWKINS is a U.S. writer whose poems, stories and plays have won awards and been published throughout the world since 1994.
ALBERT HUFFSTICKLER is a U.S. poet occasionally published in this country but not as widely known as he should be.
DENISE HYAM is a Canadian domiciled in London and little published up to now.
CHRISTINE KENNEDY is a leading experimental multi-media artist who has been exhibiting regularly since 1994, and is also an experienced teacher.
GORDON KENNEDY is in his 30s but has only recently started sending his poetry to magazines. Already his work has started appearing internationally.
YANN LOVELOCK has been very widely published over the years, and perhaps is best known for his translations of poetry from many languages.
CHARMAINE MacDONALD is from South Africa and lived in Galashiels, Scotland, for most of 1999. She is in her 30s and has been published in a number of UK magazines.
BRENDAN McMAHON teaches psychotherapy in Derby and is widely published in the small presses.
TÔPHER MILLS has been active in the Cardiff poetry scene for many years, as writer, publisher, and promoter. His best known collection - The Bicycle is an Easy Pancake (or was it The Pancake is an Easy Bicycle)?
JAMES MURRAY-WHITE is a new name to me.
JANET OLIVER, though I have seen her poems occasionally in magazines, I also know little about.
ROSEMARY PALMEIRA is likewise a new name to me.
STUART PICKFORD is a widely-respected Yorkshire poet currently in Australia on a teacher exchange. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 1992, and published The Lost Jockey (Redbeck Press) in 1995. A more extensive collection is due from Redbeck later this year.
DEREK STEPHENS is another poet about whom I know little.
KENNETH C. STEVEN is a much-acclaimed Scottish writer of poems, novels and works for children. He is currently Writer-in-Residence for Aberdeen City Council.
ATHANASIOS TRIANTAFYLLOU is a Greek poet who has spent some time living in Bristol.
STEPHEN WADE from Scunthorpe writes poetry, fiction and journalism, and teaches creative writing. He has published 3 collections in the small presses.
PAUL WARD is a fiction writer with a diploma in Creative Writing from Birmingham University. His first novel is due to appear from Minerva Press, and stories have appeared in Rattler’s Tale and Sackcloth and Ashes.
LYNNE WYCHERLEY has had her poems published in many magazines in the last few years.
Acknowledgements etc. - KERRY ANDREW’s two poems are reprinted from her collection Jazzfish (Eager Beaver Productions).
WILLIAM CORNER CLARKE’s poems are reprinted from Raven 11 (edited Len Gordon, 1983).
ELIZABETH HOWKINS’ poem Milagro was published in Visions International (1996), The Caretaker in The Silver Web, and Chesapeake in Taproot Literary Review.
CHARMAINE MacDONALD’s Scripts of Life II appeared in the GFK Anthology.
Earlier versions of CHRIS TORRANCE’s Frinite were recorded on Poetheat CD and cassettes, and published in his collection Southerly Vector & The Book of Heat (Cwm Nedd Press, 1997).
DAN WYKE’s poem O has appeared in the magazine Other Poetry. With all the above, I am grateful for permission.
I am sad to announce, as reported in the supp. to FIRE no.10, that Richard Reeve, whose story was in no.10, died at the end of 1999. Further stories by Richard will appear in future issues of FIRE.
Magazines and books to note - Magazines: (books on back page)
Connections no.10 inc. Idris Caffrey, Chris Torrance, and a wonderful poem Hermit Crab by Emma Sanderson - from Jeanne Conn, 165 Domonic Drive, New Eltham, London SE9 3LE (no price).
Obsessed with Pipework no. 10 inc. Dolores Gugliemo, Emma Lee, Paul Lee, Joan Poulson etc. £3.50 (£12.00 for 4 issues) from Charles Johnson, Flarestack Publishing 15 Market Place Redditch Worcs B98 8AR
Osiris no.49 good poems as usual esp. Ingrid Swanberg, Janet W.B. Rogers, §6.00 from Andrea Moorhead, P0 Box 297, Old Deerfield. Massachusetts 01342 USA.
Poetry New Zealand no.20 many excellent NZ poets, plus from U.S. inc Susan Maurer and from UK Gordon Kennedy and yours truly. §NZ 30.00 for 2 issues from 37 Margot Street Epsom Auckland 1003 NZ.
Stand vol. 2 no.1 inc. very fine poem by R.G.Binns £25 for 1 year subs from Linda Goldsmith, Haltwhistle House, George St, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE4 7JL.
Swansea Review no.19 - my tastes are broad-ranging but I have my dislikes, and one poet I can’t stand but who is much admired by others is Peter Russell. This is a special Peter Russell Issue so the least said by me the better, £3.00 from Dept. of English, University of Wales Singleton Park Swansea SA2 8PP.
Tears In the Fence no.25 inc. Jeffrey Skeate, S.J. Litherland, Peter Dent, John Freeman, Joan Jobe Smith, Fred Voss, Ketaki Kushari Dyson Philip Wells & many others + excellent reviews, £5.00 (£1 2.00 for 3 issues) from David Caddy, 38 Hod View, Stourpaine, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 8TN.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The