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.


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