Having pretty much decided that Twitter is a complete waste of time, I had to concede recently that I might have been a little hasty in my judgement. Out of the blue I spotted a new follow from RAUM Poetry (which Tweets as @RAUMPoetry) and a quick butcher’s at its feed showed that its team were inviting submissions for issue 2.
“Sailor’s Rest”, which features in the new issue, was once again written during the poemathon that was 52, and was inspired by a prompt by Norman Hadley. That week (#64, in which we were invited “to create a paradise worth spending eternity in”) I wrote a couple of poems but this was the one I liked best. I remembered reading somewhere about Fiddler’s Green, the afterlife set aside in 19th century folklore for mariners who’d served a half century at sea.
The magazine is based in Glasgow and is sold in various book shops and coffee shops there and in Edinburgh. It has a really nice, clean design which is instantly recognisable and which gives the poems plenty of white space in which to breathe.
There’s a thoughtful introduction by editor Loll which helps to set into context the issue’s subject matter as well as to explain how the poems were chosen and are linked:
“The second issue of RAUM is an issue concerned with the nature of poetry in its spaces: the temporal and geographical spaces that poetry inhabits and transcends in the world today.”
There are 36 poems in this issue and they vary widely in terms of form and language. There are even a couple of poems which use illustration (Janne Marie Dauer) and diagrams (Maddie Coussens) in order to make their point, while Thomas Clark’s two Scots translations of Nezahualcoyotl are similarly eye-catching. I know one of the other contributors, Seth Crook, from 52, while Charles Bane, Jr has appeared on Clear Poetry and I’ve seen Stuart Paterson’s work in various other journals.
This is a magazine which isn’t afraid to take risks and I can see why its first issue has now completely sold out. I look forward to reading more in the years to come and I hope they stick with the arty aesthetic which makes reading it such an enjoyable experience – even the paper stock chosen for the pages is spot on!
For information on how you can order a copy of RAUM Poetry, head to raumpoetry.com/buy, which also includes details of stockists in Glasgow (including Waterstones and Tell It Slant) and Edinburgh (Blackwells).