Welcome to UK Poetry - February 2007



Welcome to Poetry International Web’s sixth UK issue, in which we feature one return and one departure, under our guest editors Colette Bryce and Roger Stevens.

Our return is to Northern Ireland, under the guest editorship of Colette Bryce. Bryce is a prize-winning poet from Derry, who has lived in Spain, Scotland, and currently Newcastle; her chosen poets are Leontia Flynn, an exciting new voice (and Next Generation Poet), and Medbh McGuckian, whose heady, haunting poetry extends over ten collections and twenty-five years of publication.

With our second guest editor, Roger Stevens, we explore an area new to the UK Poetry International Web pages – children’s poetry. This is an important sector of poetry in the UK, with organisations like the Poetry Archive and Poetry Book Society having recently opened children-specific websites to honour that. It can only be a good thing to set the seeds of a love of poetry early. Stevens is a celebrated children’s poet and webmaster of Poetryzone.co.uk; he shows a clear belief of the value of bringing children into contact with real poetry that speaks to children, rather than semi-scatological rhymes, in his article ‘A Personal View’. His choices of poets, Brian Moses and Tony Mitton, provide a range of poems that will spark a wonder at what words can do, how they can sing against each other with their sounds and rhythms, how they can make you look at your world and yourself again.

It’s probably not going too far to say that it’s good for a jaded, grown-up reader to return to these sparks. At the end of McGuckian’s ‘Hand Reliquary, Ave Maria Lane’, you might well turn to Moses’ ‘Feather from an Angel’ and let these poems blow on your embers a little, let them brighten your sparks.

© Andrew Bailey  
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