Launches of Magma Poetry always have the feeling of An Occasion. The launch of Magma 42 perhaps even more than usual; we had planned it as a celebration of the newly refreshed Magma – bigger, better and with an enhanced design.
Many of the poets featured in the issue were there to read their poems, and one of the pleasures of the evening was to hear the poems read in the order in which they appear in the magazine, giving a sense of the connections and juxtapositions. From my point of view, it was fascinating to have sight of some of the poets whose work we chose, to put faces and voices to the words.
To celebrate our refreshed publication, we gave badges to everyone with the new logo on them. Fascinating to look out on a sea of big white badges with Magma Poetry written on them; an interesting sort of community was somehow created just by sharing the same logo.
And then there was our enormous cake, also sporting the new ‘Magma; the unexpected’ logo. No candles, but a ceremonial cutting and of course eating.
Vicki Feaver read for us, and so did Blake Morrison. They were pleased to see each other; they hadn’t met for quite some time and I don’t know if it was the result of telepathy or serendipity that Vicki ended on a poem about her father, and Blake finished with a poem about his father. It was a great delight to hear both esteemed poets on the same night. How lucky we were.