Art work by Pauline McCarthy

The Spring issue is out which is entirely contradicted by the weather at the moment. It has been a tough Winter, not just the constant rain and then snow but the deaths of much loved family members and friends to be coped with.

Consequently, it has been a joy to read the submissions. They were of such high a standard, I really did have a challenge selecting the final ten. Indeed, some hockey cokied in and out of the cut. 

I am happy with my final selection though. I loved Craig Dobson’s ‘Nothing Like’, a skilful poem 'after Wordsworth', in fact it was difficult selecting from all his fine submissions, a problem I had with many of the poets' work here. Clive Donovan’s ‘Chicken’ is both surreal but also thought provoking.  I have been thinking deeply about the homeless in this country whose numbers are increasing, my sympathies becoming acute during the freezing weather, so Dennis Dubois’ The Pay off ‘reflects my own fears and feelings on the subject.  In a similar vein John Grey’s touching poem about a suicide on ‘The Tracks’ is very thought provoking. EAM Harris' work on ‘Echoes’ is not just unique but exquisitely written. I couldn’t resist Paul MacDonald’s poem on Hopper paintings since they are my favourite and we currently have one on loan at Turner Contemporary which I would love to nick! A reluctant swimmer myself I loved the sheer joy of Maggie Reed's playful ‘No shoes allowed’. David Subacchi’s poem ‘Not a Blazing fire’ is superbly crafted, with its intent lying skilfully below the surface of the poem.  I can relate to Grant Tarbard’s ‘The Morning Within’ with its celebration of the first daily hit of coffee.  Anthony Watt’s poem ‘After Snow’ is a master class in fine detailing and economy of expression.

So, all in all, a fine and varied selection of poetry here.