That’s the big news. Antiphon reaches its twentieth issue, which means we’ve been going for five years (actually a bit more) now. And this is a pretty good issue, too, with more reviews then we’ve ever had previously, and a rich collection of quality poems.

I do think I need a to write a post about poetry submission and success, though – despite the fact that I’ve said all of it before. Clearly, getting an editor to publish you is a matter of taste. But it’s not just about taste, it’s about quality of work, too – which is where we’re coming from with Antiphon, at any rate. Work which is careless, casual, contains errors or cliches, travels topics which have already been done to death in ways that have themselves become hackneyed – all these prevent publication. Yet we still receive an endless stream of submissions which seem to ignore all elements of craft – “it must be poetry because I call it poetry”.

Talking of the importance of craft: my co-editor, Rosemary, who has a solid following online, is about to launch her first collection. It’s called “Drawing a Diagram”, published by Kelsay Books, a US Press, and a beautifully built collection it is, too. Of course, she’s my friend and colleague, so no-one is likely to trust what I say, but I’ll be posting a proper appraisal of it in due course, and I think it’s a very original and extremely well crafted set of poems. In particular, many of the poems are highly original in subject, content and approach, without needing to assume the postures of being “avant garde” – she works clearly in quite traditional frameworks, but manages to do something different with almost every piece. Anyway, more detail on this later.

Meanwhile, the minor news is that I’ve a few more poems pending: in Three Drops from a Cauldron (edited by the energetic Kate Garrett) and ‘Panning for Poems‘, a clever idea: “a micropoetry broadside, designed to print out, fold up, and fit in your pocket.” It also seems my poem ‘Noctilucence’ was voted 2nd equal by the readers of Orbis #178. I always feel a little ambivalent about success in Orbis, as I’ve clearly at least a theoretical influence over Carole (the editor) as I do the job of Reviews Editor. We all know that judging poems by poets you’re friendly with, or working with, can make it difficult to make fair judgements. However, Carole has no influence over the readers, so when they write in saying things like “lyrical, but subtle”, “exquisite”, “beautiful, delicate and deft” and “most moving poem I’ve read in a while”, that’s the sort of affirmation I am very grateful for, as it suggests that, some of the time at least, I’m doing something right.

 

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