Tears in the Fence

because I like writing backwards

I recently re-subscribed to ‘Tears in the Fence’, edited by David Caddy. I got it for free for a while as he published a couple of my poems and I did a couple of readings in Huckleberry bookstore in Blandford Forum. I loved those readings – recently met some people who were there at the Ashley Wood Festival. I really enjoy reading in little bookshops. In a big performance space a small audience is tricky, kind of feels like none of us are supposed to be there. But in a bookshop it’s lovely. The audience engages with the work and the writer in a much more personal way.

Anyway. Issue number 53. Has a swan on it.

Not sure about long titles, but I like Linda Black’s In order that she might complete what she had begun. It’s a prose poem, doesn’t need any line breaks because there’s a great sense of rhythm just within the sentences. Love this:

How inviting the plumped up cushions. Let them stay that way.

And the end:

She dips her fingers in a jug of water, splashes droplets purposefully across the fabric with a flick of her wrist.

And I like from Kitchen Songs by Alan Baker. – A long stream of consciousness cut up poem that flows and connects more than cut up poems usually do. It feels like he zooms out from the cut up to look out the window, to comment on a day to day life. I love the way this loops around itself:

that in the morning
might be in the
morning might
be ours again

As well as all the poetry – and I’ve only just started dipping into it – I really appreciate getting a nice chunk of articles and reviews at the end. Perhaps because this world of poetry is still a bit of a mystery to me, I’m always looking for clues. – The  performance/page/academic/accessible/literary/experimental/establishment I don’t know what divides.  All I know is one lot will never accept my work and another lot sometimes will (but then forget to publish it).

Jennifer K. Dick writes about Futurepoem Books (and here’s the blog: http://futurepoem.wordpress.com/)

To quote her quoting Futurepoem Books, it is:

a New York City-based publishing collaborative dedicated to presenting innovative woks of contemporary poetry and prose by both emerging and important underrepresented writers

Charles Bernstein. is on the literary advisory board.

I’m always finding exciting websites like these and then realising they no longer exist. Under submissions it says:

We will hold our next open reading period for manuscripts in September 2010. Guest editors will be announced shortly.

Not sure about submitting then, but the blog is current.

The extracts quoted in the Tears in the Fence article are very enticing. Really alive – writing that isn’t worrying much about line breaks and intertextuality and avoiding autobiography. Jumps off the page in a way the poems published in Tears in the Fence don’t. Why is that? British poets have too many opposing voices whispering over the shoulder? Too much self consciousness and self censorship? Or maybe I’m just talking about myself. Anyway, reading this stuff might even get me writing poetry again.

[Tears in the Fence is a fantastic poetry journal and brilliant value for money. It could do with more subscribers. Subscriptions: £18 for 3 issues/ £30 for 6 issues. Cheques payable to Tears in the Fence. Send to: David Caddy, 38 Hod View, Stourpaine, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 8TN]

p.s Well done fellow Plymouthians Tim Allen and Norman Jope for fantastic reviews by Nathan Thompson. I’m also a bit of a fan of Allen’s ‘Settings’ – dense, sharp, witty, slightly crazy – funny, basically.

4 thoughts on “Tears in the Fence

  1. I really enjoyed reading your review of TITF! Thank you for mentioning my article and Futurepoem Books. I hope to enjoy reading more of your blogging and writing in the future! Best, Jennifer K Dick

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