Review of Maria Apichella’s Paga

Well I have just completed my first official poetry review. Does this make me a real poet now? It’s a bit like the first time I was asked to peer-review an article for an academic journal, or a book proposal for a publisher… That same ‘omg people think my opinions on this stuff are valid enough to be taken seriously!’ feeling is definitely there…

It’s an auspicious beginning to my poetry reviewing. An interesting (and free! this is the poetry equivalent of inspection copies clearly which… may prove to be a problem) pamphlet arrived with a lovely card from the author (let me tell you, there was no note of thanks from the academics whose work I reviewed!). Maria Apichella’s Paga was worth, and indeed needed, more than one read, weaving its themes of loss, belief and origin with bright slashes of humour. An uncompromising and often uncomfortable collection that stayed deeply human, deeply humane, throughout.

Read my full review, complete with several extracts from the collection, at London Grip.


Wait a minute Mister Postman…

I’ve been on one of my not-as-regular-as-they-should-be submissions binges over the last couple of days. During this I have wildly flung poems at four competitions and five online magazines. There’s probably more that I could do (I have… let’s call it a considerable backlog eh?) but I’m now tired of staring at old poems and think it may be time to write some new ones instead…

However, whilst looking at magazines at which to throw my soul scribblings like some kind of literary skipping stone (what counts is not that it sinks but the ripples it makes before that) I was once more struck by the fact how some of the ‘established’ literary/poetry magazines still don’t accept online/email submissions. I genuinely do not comprehend why that is. Please someone tell me that there is an actual, valid reason for this that isn’t simply elitist clinging to the postal system as some kind of last bastion of clear cut class divisions and the good old days when poetry was written in ink on expensive paper by Oxbridge educated young men with a hard-on for the illusory English countryside. Because, honestly? That’s exactly how it comes across.

Then again, maybe I’m just bitter and cynical. I did spend most of today reading about social exclusion.

Anyway. Yay submissions?

Have some Marvelettes. If you think I’m including this as an additional gender-based dig at the literary elites then you are partly right. Also, it’s a hell of a catchy tune 😀