‘What is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
At Magma, we’ve been talking. As you know we’re having a National Conversation (about poetry) and we want you to share your poems on the theme of ‘Conversation’ with us to be published in Magma 63.
Everybody talks, but what makes a good conversation? Is it an art? Many conversations start with a question or questioning and good conversationalists are often good listeners. Are your conversations controversial? Some of us only know what we’re thinking as we’re talking. Others engage in authoritative discourse or have conversational tics, themes or party pieces. Sneakily, we all enjoy a good eavesdrop – what have you overheard lately? Ideas and conversations are inextricably linked. Some conversations can get you killed.
We’d like you to explore all kinds of conversations in your poems. Conversations can be trivial and gossipy or difficult and unsettling. Is there a dreaded ‘conversation’ you need to have or one form your past you wish you couldn’t remember? Sometimes people just can’t get through a conversation as in Home Burial by Robert Frost. We can have conversations with imagined readers or with ourselves as in Conversation by Elizabeth Bishop or Coleridge’s Conversation cycle. And many, many poets have had conversations with the divine. Think too how Philip Gross explores his father’s aphasia in his collection, ‘Later.’ Or how Sharon Olds tackles a conversation she wants to have, but her ‘almost-no-longer husband’ doesn’t want in Unspeakable (‘Stag’s Leap’). We’re interested in all of these and more.
We’d like to see poems that express themselves through diverse forms – not just dialogue poems. And we’re especially interested in how style and theme converse within the conversational space of the white page.
So now it’s over to you; let your poems do the talking. Send us up to six poems on the theme of ‘Conversation’. If you want to stay schtum – poems off theme are also welcome.
Susannah Hart and Lisa Kelly, Editors, Magma 63
The deadline is 30 May 2015. Please see the Contributions page for details of how to submit your poems.