Might we be entering another revolutionary period? Are the signs here? Can we see revolution in the power of social media, the election of Jeremy Corbyn, the creation of the UK Women’s Equality Party by Sandi Toksvig, Scotland’s possible independence, Europe closing its borders, the realisation of climate change…?
Perhaps the problem of being in the middle of a revolution is that we can’t really see it. The various revolutions in 50s/60s USA – anti-draft, Civil Rights, early feminism, gay rights – were made visible by poets like Bob Dylan, the confessional poets (Lowell, Berryman, Jarrell, Plath, Sexton) and the Beats. Are you one of the poets we can turn to now? Can you illuminate the changes occurring under our very noses?
Or do personal revolutions add up to a major change? Maybe our personal revolts are the most significant to us…
For Magma 65 we’re looking for poems that respond to the idea of revolution in the here and now. Perhaps your poem will show a new form breaking though or reflect on politics and conflict. Or perhaps you will focus on the strangeness of living in the 21st century, on “the revolutionary potential of everyday life” as Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre put it, writing squarely in the tradition of Baudelaire, the first poet to see daily life in the streets of Paris as revolutionary.
We’d be delighted to receive poems in which the revolutionary intervenes in daily life whether politically as in Heaney’s The Toome Road or even A Constable Calls; or personally as in Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death / He kindly stopped for me”, Frost’s The Road Not Taken, Bishop’s Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore or Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman; or stylistically as in Paul Stephenson’s poem in Magma 58 where all 25 lines end perfectly logically with “beetroot”.
Your poems can be written in any way– using language, form, sound, humour – whatever it takes to display a ‘revolution’.
As they said in Paris in 1968, “Under the paving stones, the beach”. What lies under the surface where you live?
Please send us your poems by Submittable between 1st October 2015 and 31st January 2016 or by post with an s.a.e. (if you live in the UK) to Magma Contributions, 23 Pine Walk, Carshalton, SM5 4ES.
Laurie Smith and Jane R Rogers