When we started this little journal back in 2016, we never thought we’d be writing to you from the middle of a pandemic. But here we are, putting this issue together over WhatsApp – Tash in London and Theo in Singapore – while in both our cities ‘normal’ lives have been upturned, on an unexpected and unprecedented scale.
Issue Eight asks the question we’re all asking: what does it mean to write under these circumstances, when it seems there is so little (or so impossibly much) to hold on to?
Our contributors bring answers from across the globe; from Angeliki Ampelogianni (based in Oxford) who writes of what it means to ‘keep going, counting like a thief, wanting less’, to Brandon McQuade (in San Antonio), with a transcendent poem about how life sustains itself, builds ‘a safety net… / to catch the barn swallows falling’. Finding ourselves at this juncture of history, it might be all we can do to keep going. As Charlotte Moberly‘s poem reminds us: ‘Tonight we are the accidental brave’.
Joining us in this issue to discuss their new books (launched in the middle of the pandemic) are the wonderful poets Will Harris, Phoebe Stuckes, and Jennifer Wong, whose collections are published this year by Granta, Bloodaxe, and Nine Arches Press respectively. We’ve also taken the opportunity to review all four of the 2019 New Poets’ Prize pamphlets, published this summer by our friends at The Poetry Business.
Courage, dear heart. May this issue, like Aslan’s words, bring comfort in the storm. And may we all be brave.
Theo & Tash
Editors, The Kindling