This is probably the last review we will get from Blue Nib, as it is closing – due to an unsustainable funding gap.
I don’t know whether it’s yet another unforseen outcome of C-19, but a number of poetry and other literary magazines are on hiatus or have folded since I last checked for people to send books to for review.
As well as Blue Nib; Arete, Compass, Iota, and Antiphon have the shutters down on their website or have disappeared completely.
Many magazines, like small publishers, rely on volunteers to survive at all. I’m as at fault as the next person, I can’t afford the subcription (or the time) to read more than a couple of magazines, and yet we rely on them to spread the word about our books, and as discoverors and nursery grounds for writers who aren’t ready to offer a collection.
So maybe now is the time for an extra resolution for this year – to read a literary magazine, and support the work done by its editors, writers and reviewers.
‘Tymes Goe By Turnes’ is a timely anthology. Some pieces could be interpreted as being about the current pandemic, but all have a sense of timelessness. A sense that they could be picked up in several centuries in the future and, although the language would look archaic, they would still be understood.
A long, thoughtful and very enthusisatic review from Damien B Donnelly
The collection cleverly deceives the reader with its light appearance; delicate forms of short poems with few words but that too is its strength, like a language not used enough so that words are forgotten and we must cut to the truth without the fluff and frills.
Following on from Dawn Dumont’s quote at the beginning of the poem One Name, Cymru- to be born indigenous is to be born an activist- we realise that the fight is happening here, within the considered calls rising up from these carefully chosen lines, each word perfectly formed into a sense of identity often bashed, often silenced but ever resilient.
Pieces in the collection rarely seek to impose an anthropomorphized interior experience onto their spiders, and the anthology is filled with musings and suggestions that speak both to things shared between humans and spiders, and to the ultimate mystery of a spider’s inner-world.
The myriad voices in the collection – and the many ways they have interpreted the call for submissions – make for a stimulating read, at once serious and moving, as well as light-hearted and frivolous.
This collection is a refreshing, detailed and compassionate take on an under-loved and fascinating creature.