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Meet Other Magma Readers in the Magma Facebook Group

Facebook logoWe’ve just launched a Facebook group, Friends of Magma Poetry — a place for you to meet other Magma readers.

The group is being hosted by Jacqui Saphra and Rob Mackenzie, members of the Magma team who will be familiar to readers of the Magma blog.

As well as providing a place to connect with Magma readers and writers, we will also send occasional messages to the group about important Magma news. (But we won’t deluge you with messages!)

We look forward to meeting you and staying in touch via the Facebook group.

This Post Has 10 Comments
  1. It is very pleasing that magma has latched on so quickly to the FB phenomenon, giving all of us far more chance to feel involved in magma matters – like the growth of the Open University during my teens and twenties (assisted no end by the commitment and expertise of the BBC), the dispersal of literary matters to a much wider general public can only be applauded, and magma should go from strength to strength with an influx of fresh voices, especially from Britain’s newish population of not only Commonwealth but also EU contributors. If Jacqui Saphra is also involved with Andromache, we may expect only further high quality – bon chance, mes amis.

  2. Thanks Christopher, nice to hear us mentioned in the same breath as the Open University and the BBC!

  3. Hi, Mark – please do not be so self-deprecating, a very English trait. How the Small Press & Magazine “scene” reacts to technological advance will be crucial to how literature of all types develops, and self-publishing and promotion have always been probably how many writers “get a look in” – the easiest way to get published is to found your own magazine, if possible with a group of friends, and if you are prepared to go on financing it ad infinitum. If we must rely mainly on Bloodaxe, The Poetry Business, Seren, and Templar for hard copy slim volumes, Smiths Knoll, The North, and magma, together with a few others, must act as hatcheries, and encouraging the fast to and fro of communication as you are doing will become ever more part of poetry development. Will Twitter see a blossoming of haiku & tanka, for instance?

  4. Hello, Mark, and thanks for the link.

    I have to say I am not all that impressed.

    Most of the contributors have not got very far past the counting syllables stage, which can be regarded as making a start. But it is very early days for developments such as MySp, FB & Twitter, and I’ve never looked into the kindergarten Bebo.

    I have to say that poems of any sort only seem real when I get them through the mail in slim, elegant volumes, and better still read along as I hear a measured voice render them as the author intends – The Poetry Archive will be Andrew Motion’s main monument, I feel, apart from Harry Patch.

  5. Dear Mark and Christopher,

    If you would like to see some good haiku and tanka you would be surprised how much there is being published in the U.K.; U.S.A. and the rest of the world.

    In fact Magma actually published some of Machi Tawara’s more recent tanka not so long ago.

    ‘With Words’ uses haiku (and haibun) to promote a love of words, and to get people to like poetry again, who might have had a bad time of it at school. 😉

    Myself, I’m a published haiku poet both in the U.K.; Japan; U.S.A. and a few other countries.

    Haiku (and tanka) are regularly written in Eastern Europe; Nepal and India; as well as Australasia and N. America.

    My ‘With Words’ website gives a very condensed history of haiku outside Japan, and I have a few of my own haiku at the top of the webpages.

    all my very best,


  6. Christopher – there is good poetry on the internet, but I agree it can be hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. Which is obviously one of the functions of book and magazine editors…

    Alan – I’m glad you notice the Machi Tawara tanka, I edited Magma 34 and we were very proud to feature the first UK publication of her poems. Your website is beautiful – thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Mark,

    May I say thank you for the Machi Tawara feature! 😉

    Very little of her post-Salad Anniversary tanka is translated into English with the exception of Tokai Bubble a few years back as part of a BBC Radio 3 Japan Season series way back in 1991, so thank you again!

    Tanka can be incredible poems, and I’m lucky enough to have a copy of the multi-million selling book ‘Salad Anniversary’.

    If anyone doesn’t have Magma 34 I urge you to order a backcopy. I did, when I thought someone who had ‘borrowed’ my copy wasn’t going to get it back to me!

    Many thanks for your kind comment on my website too! 😉

  8. Thanks Alan, I’m lucky enough to have a copy of ‘Salad Anniversary’ too – sadly my Japanese isn’t good enough to actually read it!

  9. Hello again Mark & Alan.

    Sorry not to have been in touch for a while, but I have been trying to find the evidence for Andrew Motion’s assertion that “Poetry Is Booming” on the World Wide Web.

    I should agree that there are vast numbers of especially Americans attempting to write what they think of as poetry, many of them having persuaded colleges and universities to employ them as poetry experts with creative writing titles, but there still seems to be the broadest of gaps in quality between most of what is on the Net and a great many of the chapbooks and slim volumes (and some of them not so slim) risked by the dwindling number of British publishers still prepared to invest in a “poetry list”.

    In order to put in my own two penn’orth I have agreed to act as a “Regional Co-ordinator” based as I am in the UK for a site called bestnewpoems on Facebook, but spreading its net as widely as possible, and which seems to me to be trying hard to promote fresh talent: we shall see.

    Just as the invention of photography was supposed to herald the death of figurative painting, and recording techniques meant the death of live music, there always seems to be a longing for new technologies to “finish off” more traditional forms.

    In amongst all the blather, poetry manages to survive. What are needed are keen ears and eyes, and the time to devote hours to winnowing.

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