There may be a danger of getting the light spot confused with the spotlight in this issue. The light spot is our Light Verse feature, guest edited by John Whitworth, who has picked, and introduced, a great selection of not-so-solemn poems by nineteen authors. There are many delights here, perhaps none more delightful than Patti McCarty’s “If Shakespeare Were Amish”, a most original, memorable and playful jeu d’esprit which has found its perfect oral expression in Jonas Stoltzfus’s quietly inspired reading.
The spotlight is independent of the light spot — as usual we turn our high-wattage beam on a selected poet, and the Spotlight Poet this time is Stephen Edgar. He’s not in the light spot, although at least one of his ten poems in the spotlight is lightish; it’s easily spotted. Stephen, three of whose poems we published in Issue 4 of The Chimaera, is introduced by Clive James, who further supplies a close read of the award-winning poem “Man on the Moon”; then we have ten more poems by Stephen Edgar, four of them new and previously unpublished, plus reviews and appreciations of his work by Australian poets Judith Beveridge, Vivian Smith, and Geoff Page (the last includes another poem).
Alongside the light spot and the spotlight, of course we have our regular mix of poems and prose on assorted subjects: take the very pleasant swag of poems by Leslie Monsour, for example, and the collegial interview with her by Tim Murphy which ends with Tim about to burst into song; or the review by David Holper of Rose Kelleher's prize-winning book Bundle o’ Tinder (have we mentioned how much we like it?); or the wicked fictional (?) investigation into the unexpected reasons for the dissolution of a good marriage, delivered by Tom Sheehan; or Quincy Lehr, like some modern day stout Cortes, gazing upon the recent Irish poetry collections scene with a wild surmise; and they’re just to warm you up!
The Chimaera is a substantial publication (this issue contains fifty-six poems and nine prose pieces) and the workload is such that we’ve decided to publish, from now on, two issues a year rather than three.
Issue 6, scheduled to go online in July 2009, may change its livery but we know that, through whatever disguise it dons, our readers will still recognise the three-headed beast. As usual there will be a section of miscellaneous verse and prose, a section devoted to a spotlit poet (see below for details), and our feature theme section. The latter will focus on poems in well-wrought form — an idea inspired by the work of Stephen Edgar, this issue’s Spotlight poet, who indeed will be helping us to select the poems for the feature. Doubtless we’ll pick some sonnets, and maybe some villanelles, but we especially hope to have good examples of the less common, more intricate, more difficult forms (for the writer, that is) such as ballade, rondeau, rondel, terza rima, ottava rima, perhaps even a virelai ancien or two, as well as nonce forms using interesting heterometric patterns. (If you are interested in submitting work to The Chimaera, whether for the feature section or not, please be sure to see our Submission page and read the guidelines carefully. And note that we do respond to all submissions, but sometimes our responses bounce — the Submissions page gives more details on this problem. We will be open for submissions to Issue 6 from March 1 to May 31.)
Waiting to step into the Issue 6 Spotlight is British poet Ann Drysdale, who contributed to the John Whitworth feature in Issue 4 and also has two poems in our Light Verse feature in this issue. We look forward to working further with Ann, who will delight you as she already has us with her wicked wit and her fine craftspersonship. Why does she have those dangling didies... er... dangling? We hope to find out this and much, much more.
The Chimaera is always indebted to its contributors and friends, and this issue owes thanks to many for contributions, permissions and work. Most are acknowledged where relevant in the issue, but we want to include thanks here to Carol Jenkins of River Road Press, who was outstandingly helpful with the sound files from the CD record of Stephen Edgar reading his verse, Photography for Beginners, which is available from River Road Press and through iTunes and CD Baby. River Road Press has a strong and expanding range of CDs of Australian poets reading their work. The Chimaera also wants to thank Clark Gormley of Poetry at the Pub, who helped us contact Stephen Edgar. Poetry at the Pub, held in Newcastle, New South Wales, is a fantastic venue for poets, lovers of poetry, and lovers of beer and ale: well worth a visit if you find yourself on the NSW Central Coast; there are details at their site.
Editor: Paul Stevens
Co-editor: Peter Bloxsom
Artist/Photographer: Patricia Wallace Jones
Paul Stevens was born in Yorkshire, but lives in Australia where he teaches Literature. He has published poetry and prose widely in pixel and print. He is an editor, along with Angela France, Nigel Holt, Pat Jones, and Don Zirilli, of The Shit Creek Review.
Peter Bloxsom is a freelance writer and web developer. His articles, fiction, reviews, essays, humour, poems and other writings have appeared in print and online. His own site is at www.netpublish.net. He is the editor of 14 by 14, the lean sonnet zine.
Patricia Wallace Jones is an artist, poet, and retired disability advocate. More of her artwork can be seen at: http://imagineii.typepad.com/imagineii/.