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My thoughts on Issue Seven

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:43 pm
by robertshmglsky
This was my first contributor’s copy and my first taste of small press literature. As such, it will always mean something to me. Not to mention, it’s always a nice feeling to be rewarded for your hard work.

When I first opened up Issue seven, my first thought was that a lot of creativity had gone into this amazing, tiny little booklets; my eyes skimming across line after line of black text, page after page of stand-alone short stories and poems connected by their own illustrations as I strolled through the pages.

I only recently finished reading the issue the other day at work, after only reading the poems and a pair of short stories when it first arrived, but since reading it I have to admit my perspective on small presses has changed entirely.

Except for the occasional poem or two, I won’t read small press readily available on the net. I simply don’t like reading on a computer screen. If I was to read small press, that left only the option of buying a magazine, but I was then reluctant to do so, being unaccustomed with this type of literature. Why buy small press when you can go to Chapters and buy the next best seller?

Then my contributor’s copy arrived and it was only a matter of time before I got into it.

When I did, I enjoyed what I had read. While by no means perfect (but to be honest I don’t believe anything can be), there was good writing to be found inside and there is nothing wrong with that.

I personally thought the Sham was the best written story in the issue, finding it concrete, to the point and easy to follow. It was bite-sized with enough room for the theme to fit.

Having looked at some of the past issues, the only improvement I would like to see – and this is a small gripe of mine – is poetry that isn’t all capitalized at the beginning of each line. This is simply how I was taught poetry should look like.

That aside, I can definitely now see myself buying and reading more small press in the future (especially during my long lunch hours).

Re: My thoughts on Issue Seven

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:07 am
by J.S.Watts
Hi Robert,

As a writer with poems in Ethereal Tales, amongst others, I can't help but say that you've picked on the storm in a teacup for many poets when you write that you want to see poetry that isn't all capitalized at the start of each line. Back in my youth ( a long, long time ago :cry: ) we were taught that you did capitalize the start of lines. Later generations (bless their supple young limbs) are brought up to believe that you don't capitalize the start of every line, it all depends on sentence structure. The avant garde amongst us like everything lower case as a gesture of sorts :|

Personally, I let the poem decide if the start of its lines are capitalized or not, thus some of my pieces are all capitalized at the start and some drift happilly onwards with lower case beginnings. I appreciate editors who allow me and my poems to appear as they/I want rather than insisting they are all capitalized or all laid low.

That's my little stir of the tea cup done. :D

J.S.Watts

Re: My thoughts on Issue Seven

PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:02 pm
by Raven
Thanks for adding your thoughts to this J.S, I was hoping that you might pop along as being a poet yourself I knew you would have a point of view on it.
I print the poems that I accept for publication as they are sent to me, allowing the writer to decide on the issue of capitalisation of each line. I admit to not being an expert in anyway on poetry, I have written the odd poem and am sure I will again. My poems all tend to be rhyming and capitalised at the beginning of each sentence...I am sure that is the way I was taught to write them, but it was many moons ago and I don't actually remember being taught it but simply that it is just the way I have always done it, so feel I much have been shown that way.
I suppose to a lot of poets my poems might not seem worthy (there is one here...so you can make your own mind up viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10), they are to all intense and purposes a rhyming story...simple and straight forward, and something that I feel anyone can enjoy. I confess that I find some poetry hard to read as it often seems rather obscure...but that is my problem I am sure, and not the poets.

Perhaps I should find someone to be poetry editor, so they can decide on which poems get included.

Anyway, I found this article which was rather interesting so I thought I would share the link...
http://www.etherealtales.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10
It seems that as J.S says it is traditional to use capitalisation, but that modern poets can now choose which way to present their work...and I am all for choice. I think it is good to allow poets to decide on the format of their own work, and I shall continue to do so.

All that said I do accept that Robert did say that it was his person view that it would be an improvement. We are certainly all entitled to our own views, and I would like to thank him for taking the time to write his thoughts on Issue Seven. I am so pleased you enjoyed the zine and that it has helped open your eyes to the worth of small press. There is of course good and bad in the world of small press (as in any area), and appreciate your kind comments which seem to show that our zine is on the good side and that I must be doing something right in my production of it (with the help of all my wonderful contributors of course).
Thanks Robert :)