Clara Burghelea Editorial Issue 41

Poetry Selected by Clara Burghelea and Tracy Gaughan


In a world of objects, poetry allows us to inhabit endless skins, in the reading and rereading of a poem. These elusive, profoundly dislocating, yet uplifting encounters that happen inside the poem are bound to inspire, move, make us ponder, disrupt our comfort and lift our spirit. Poetry is an alchemical process, a reckoning with the world, and within the literary ecosystem, a manner of swiftly moving from the poet’s mind to the reader’s heart.

There is so much that is strong and memorable about Issue 41. First, the poetry is all about inclusion and diversity and the interplay between thought, memory, language, observation, and form occurs throughout the issue. Rachel Burns and Becky Kingsnorth kindly guide our gaze to the animal world where egret, heron, roe deer mirror our frailty. Tony Curtis’s poems scrutinize landscapes filled with people and history and speak to our need to mark our presence as collectors. Motherhood and loss are addressed in Anne McDonalds’s poems in a simple, raw manner. Form is beautifully tackled with in Matt Mooney’s ‘Word and Stone’ where white space comes to inhabit the inner rhythm of the poem. Displacement and identity find their voice in both Edvin Subašić’ and Özgecan Kesici’s poems that invite us to look at the body/bodies as gateways into whatever sets us apart and bring us together as one and many.

The featured poets of this issue are Amy Barry, Anne Tannam, Nicola Harrison and Edvin Subašić. They are published, international poets who believe that cooperation and conversation are the engines of the literary world with language being in flux, a malleable tool accessible to all. 

Amy Barry writes poems and short stories that have been published in several anthologies, journals, and press and e-zines worldwide. Her work has been featured on radio and television in Australia, Canada, Italy and Ireland and translated into several languages. She considers herself a global poet who believes, curiosity, boldness and persistence are essential tools to poetry writing.

Anne Tannam is author of two poetry collections and has learnt to juggle the things she is passionate about: writing, coaching, facilitating. She believes in the need for a creative community and helps poets understand we are all wired for stories and poems which are our maps and bridges. 

Nicola Harrison, a vocal teacher, a singer, writer, and performer, juggles all these creative roles and draws energy from them. She believes in the poem’s ability to go somewhere, to change something, reveal something new, share some experience, alter a perception or bring light or understanding in some form. In order to achieve all these, collaboration among artists, genres and creative energies is the key.

Edvin Subašić, a teacher, writer and poet, came to US as a war refugee. In his interview, he speaks about what it means to be a poet in 2020, and about the complicated relationship the poet has with the world, his active role in connecting to the readers and poets alike. Somewhere in the middle, we tend to the personal, walking the thin line between the public space and the necessary reclusiveness. 

I am passing the torch as Poetry Editor for UK & Ireland to Tracy Gaughan, a former featured poet of The Blue Nib. A short fiction writer and poet, Tracy presents the popular arts show ‘WestWords’ on Ireland’s Community Radio Network. She has a keen eye for whatever makes poetry urgent and essential and is a remarkable addition to our editorial team. 

Starting with Issue 42, I will be in charge of Translations and International Poetry. A literary translator myself, I am pleased to see The Blue Nib turning an active eye to the way translation moves and connects. With the help of the editorial team, space has been created to accommodate the richness of work in translation. In this issue, the wonderful poems of Franca Mancinelli can be read in John Taylor’s translation from Italian, a “motion like a memory of water”. Sabine Huynh translated from French two of Valérie Rouzeau’s poems. According to the translator, Valérie Rouzeau admitted writing these poems after she was asked the question: “Mais à part ça – la poésie – que faites-vous dans la vie?” / “But apart from that – poetry – what do you do for a living?”. The answer lies in the folds of the poem.

Thank you for making time to read and engage with these poets and their work. 

About the contributor

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Maram Al-Masri, born in Lattakia, Syria, moved to France after completing English Literature studies at Damascus University. She received the Prix d’Automne de Poésie (Société des Gens De Lettres), Adonis Prize, and the Dante Alighieri Prize. Her books include Cerise rouge sur un carrelage blanc, Elle va nue la liberté, and Le Rapt.

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