Poems: Wendy Orr, J.S. Watts, Paul Surman, Kerry Priest, Barbara Cumbers, Laura Potts,
Interview – Glyn Pursglove.
Poems: Maitreyabandhu, Judy Ison, Emmaline O’Dowd, Fred Beake, Gareth Alun Roberts.
Feeling into Words – Veronica Beedham.
Poems: Jan Harris, Joanna Boulter, Craig Dobson, Alex Josephy, Marianne MacRae,
Jill Sharp, Ian McDonough.
Obituary –Rik Wilkinson.
Poems: Michael Henry, Maria Gunnarsson, Harry Guest, Margaret Wilmot, Kathleen
McPhilemy, James Andrew.
Poems in Translation: Giovanni Quessep (trans. F. Botero & R. Barnicot), R.M. Rilke
(trans. Penny Hope), Voloshin & Gumilov (trans.S. Capus),
F.L. Graf zu Stolberg, FriedrichHebbel & Friedrich Nietzsche
(trans. C. McNeill), Anne Mounic (trans. H.Guest),
Egan O’Rahilly (trans.Julian Farmer).
Light & Spontaneity in Leigh Hunt – Andrew Knight.
Poems: Paul Surman, Craig Dobson, Jennie Osborne, George Neame, Rani Drew,
Adriel Jamil, Jeri Onitskansky, Anthony Watts, Kitty Donnelly, Jethro
Dykes, Dinah Livingstone.
Hijacking Poetry – Paul Gittins.
Poems: Maggie Freeman, Sally Sandler, M.F. Bhattacharjee, Mike Smith, K.S. Moore,
Richie McCaffery, Jane Kirwan, E.E. Jones, Keneth Steven, Francis Warner.
Reviews: Malcolm Bradley, Leah Fritz, Belinda Cooke, William Bedford, Wynn Wheldon,
Nigel Jarrett, Glyn Pursglove.
Poetry Comment. Glyn Pursglove.
Having been funded by the Arts Council for much of Acumen’s life, I have
been invited to take part in what it calls ‘The Conversation’, talks with
people both involved in or with the Arts as well as those who have little
to do with the sector. In July of this year they published an interim
document putting together the many strands of responses they had
receive, publishing a very long report. At one point, they pulled together
many of the ideas of what ‘art’ is:
They are a source of escapism, of enjoyment, stimulators of deep thought and
passion, drivers of societal change, stimuli for new ideas/creativity, inspiration for
the next generation, sources of hope and optimism, but also reminders of bleak,
I felt this was representative of the contents of the wide selection of
poems I use for the magazine. But it didn’t really reflect the quality of
the poetry being published. This fact was discussed further in the report:
…some tension is expressed between funding for art that demonstrates artistic
excellence, without necessarily demonstrating public benefit, and funding for art
that has a demonstrable benefit to the local community. There is a huge amount
of support, particularly from the [artistic] sector, for funding art for art’s sake,
without having any specific public benefit aims attached … some in the sector feel
that there has been too great a focus on the benefits of arts, detracting from the
artistic and cultural merit of the sector in its own right.
Content and quality: should either dominate? See Mr. Cullup’s letter in
the Responses section; he appears to come down firmly for quality, I too
agree with this but – here’s the big question – art has no real definition
of this allusive attribute. There are no common tick-boxes where a
poet or reader can mark a sheet and say if a poem has quality or not.
Quality often represents different things to different people, hence
the spread of magazines with their differing emphases. I feel that the
next issue’s Responses section could contain very interesting reading!