End of Year Round-Up: Rebekah Matthews

This penultimate entry for the End of Year Series is being scheduled for publication from beyond the land-of-no-internet in which I am until the beginning of January. Browse the archives or click on the category tag to see other writers’ answers to those three questions. Sabotage will be back in the new year with more reviews of the ephemeral. In the meantime: Happy New Year!

Rebekah Matthews is a short-story writer. Her writing was nominated for Dzanc’s Best of the Web and a Pushcart Prize in 2010. She is currently working on a collection of short stories called Hero Worship about lesbian relationships. She blogs here.

Has 2010 brought to your attention any outstanding literary magazines (be they online or in print), if so, which?

As a contributor, I’ve been the most pleased with my experience with The Battered Suitcase. They were responsive and kind, and also did a thoughtful interview on their blog with their contributors which was so nice and made me feel really appreciated!

As a reader, I’m glad I became aware of Fringe Magazine in 2010. It’s such a beautiful and simple layout, and I love their concept of publishing “outsider” voices.

What event sticks out in your mind as the literary event of 2010 (it can be a personal accomplishment)?

I know it’s predictable, totally not edgy, and barely literary, but when the film Eat, Pray, Love came out, I thought it inspired some really interesting discussions (in both the positive and the negative reactions) about literature, pop culture, class, and women.  And also, one evening, while my book club met, after a few glasses of wine I started to complain loudly about the concept behind the book and the film; I went on for a few minutes, until one of the women in my book club said, “Elizabeth Gilbert is actually my aunt…” Oops. So that was kind of an “event.”

What was your favourite literary discovery of the year (it can be a single poem, a novel, a pamphlet, a press, …)?

Night at Suck Mansion by Joe Gallagher, a collection of stories told in verse and published by Big Rodent. It’s self-deprecating, mean, and sweet, and sometimes even happy.

End of Year Round-Up: Jane Holland

Jane Holland is an award-winning poet and novelist. She is also the Executive Editor of Embrace Books, an imprint of Salt Publishing. Her latest poetry collection is Camper Van Blues (Salt Publishing). Her next novel is due out from Transworld in 2012. She blogs here.

Has 2010 brought to your attention any outstanding literary magazines (be they online or in print), if so, which?

I think Ink, Sweat and Tears is a good new online magazine.

What event sticks out in your mind as the literary event of 2010 (it can be a personal accomplishment)?

My lit event of 2010 has to be my massive sale to Transworld – a three novel deal for a six figure sum.

What was your favourite literary discovery of the year (it can be a single poem, a novel, a pamphlet, a press, …)?

I have particularly enjoyed reading Anthony Thwaite’s pamphlet this year, Late Poems, which I think is from Enitharmon but you may need to check. [ed: it is!] An excellent pamphlet!

End of Year Round-Up: Helen Kitson

A continuation of the End of Year Series, where we prod writers to name their favourites. You can read Luke Kennard and Jon Stone’s answers here and here, and what our reviewers have to say here.

Helen Kitson is an award-winning poet and short story writer. Her poetry pamphlet Seeing’s Believing was published by Scratch and was short-listed for the Forward Best First Collection Prize in 1992. This was followed by a full collection, Love Among the Guilty, published by Bloodaxe in 1995. A further collection, Tesserae, was published by Oversteps in 2003. Her latest collection,The Family Romance, is available at Indigo Dreams Bookshop. Her poem ‘Day of the Dead’, from The Family Romance, was Sabotage’s Halloween Special choice.


Has 2010 brought to your attention any outstanding literary magazines (be they online or in print), if so, which?

I’m embarrassed to admit that I can’t think of any magazine I’ve discovered this year. I’m heartened to see that some magazines are keeping afloat by switching to online publication, but I must admit I’m old-fashioned enough to like an actual paper magazine to hold.

What event sticks out in your mind as the literary event of 2010 (it can be a personal accomplishment)?

I would have to say the publication of my own book, The Family Romance, because it took many years for me finally to see it in print, and whilst I was working on the book my father died, so it became even more important to me that I find a publisher for what is ultimately a very personal collection.

What was your favourite literary discovery of the year (it can be a single poem, a novel, a pamphlet, a press, …)?

I’m going to choose Jenny Hope’s debut collection, Petrolhead for the sensuous, distilled quality of her poems, which I find quiet but haunting.

 

Christmas Special – Charles Causley

In the midst of End of Year Round-up posts, here is a special Christmas poem I was introduced to by Katy Evans-Bush and that I mentioned here. It has been haunting me for weeks now and every time I dip into it, something new emerges, so it’s too good not to share. Merry Christmas!

Convoy.
Draw the blanket of ocean
Over the frozen face.
He lies, his eyes quarried by glittering fish,
Staring through the green freezing sea-glass
At the Northern Lights.

He is now a child in the land of Christmas:
Watching, amazed, the white tumbling bears
And the diving seal.
The iron wind clangs round the ice-caps,
The five-pointed Dog-star
Burns over the silent sea,

And the three ships
Come sailing in.

Charles Causley

Causley passed away on 4 November 2003 and a lovely eulogy on him, including a mention of this poem, can be found here.

End of Year Round-Up: Jon Stone

A continuation of the End of Year Series, you can read Luke Kennard’s answers here and what our reviewers have to say here.

Jon Stone is the production editor and designer of hand-crafted art and literature magazine Fuselit and its press imprint Sidekick Books.  His poem ‘Jack Root’ was highly commended at the 2009 National Poetry Competition. His debut poetry pamphlet Scarecrows was published by Happenstance press in 2010.

Has 2010 brought to your attention any outstanding literary magazines (be they online or in print), if so, which?

It’s hard to pick an ‘outstanding’ one out of a raft of enjoyable discoveries and newcomers, including Nutshell, Polarity, Silkworms, Sabotage itself. I also discovered for the first time that Poetry London is actually rather good.

What event sticks out in your mind as the literary event of 2010 (it can be a personal accomplishment)?

Obviously not being very objective here but the Fuselit 5th birthday party was a roaring success. Sarah Hesketh compared the line-up and audience to the cast of Gosford Park, ie. if a meteor struck the room, it would wipe out an entire generation of talent in one fell swoop. Plus we had cake and prizes. I don’t think I went to any really ‘big’ literary events (I much prefer the more intimate ones), so my selection may look ludicrous in the light of these!

What was your favourite literary discovery of the year (it can be a single poem, a novel, a pamphlet, a press, …)?

Again, very, very hard to choose. I might go for Matthew Caley, probably my favourite of the poets that Roddy Lumsden’s Identity Parade has introduced me to.