Liminal Pleasures Interview
Posted on 22 October 2005. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
WriteWords talks to Andrew Nightingale, editor of new poetry magazine Liminal Pleasures
Tell us all about the magazine...who’s who, ethos etc
Well, I started by asking myself, why a print-based magazine? Why not a website? I think many writers still attach greater kudos to print, but personally I do not know why that should be the case. What attracts me to print is the idea of producing an artefact, an object you hold in your hand and investigate. I think the small print magazine can offer the opportunity for a certain "hand-made-ness" that I like and want to emphasise in Liminal Pleasures. We all know that many poetry magazines have relatively low circulations – this is a way of accepting the fact and taking advantage of it. We are producing a limited "hand-made" batch of each issue, with each issue numbered, like a series of prints. Of course, we have a website too, on which we will be showing sample work from each issue and, once an issue is sold out, the full content.
The magazine is edited by Simon Ramsay and myself (Andrew Nightingale). Simon is concerned primarily with editing the translations and translating work himself from Spanish. We also have Anna Bergami, who helps us with selecting translations from Italian.
The idea of "liminal pleasures", subject to the broadest interpretation, provides a loose theme for the poetry in the magazine. We're also particularly interested in the influence of continental Europe on poetry in English. This is why we hope to give over a good deal of space to translation. But the influence could also be one of poetics or place.
How do you find your writers?
That's the million-dollar question isn't it? Unsolicited submissions are very welcome. The magazine is in no way a closed circle. I have also approached a number of poets directly, whose work I like. This is work I've read, for the most part, in other poetry magazines.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
For myself, W S Graham and Harry Mathews. Speaking for Simon, Juan Goytisolo. That's quite a lot of "why" to answer… I'm not going to be very helpful here… There are a lot of writers I admire and enjoy. It's very difficult to know why these two stand out. There's the austerity of WS Graham's Arctic vision of language and Harry Mathews' ingeniousness for starters.
What excites you about a piece of writing- what keeps you interested?
Something ambitious but impossible. Something brave but flawed – and with interesting flaws. A doomed but noble undertaking with which I sympathise.
And what makes your heart sink?
The controlled, well-crafted poem describing some natural phenomenon in a poignant way that relates it mysteriously to the human condition.
For poetry in English, the work should be previously unpublished (including on the internet). We take email submissions only, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the body of the email or a Word, PDF or HTML file. As with most magazines, six poems would be an appropriate quantity. I do not rule out including longer poems. I want to be flexible because I like work that is on a boundary, so I'm not keen to be too prescriptive. Visual poetry and prose poems are both possibilities. I suppose, if a submission is more than eight pages I can't guarantee I'll read it all! If the poems are about a "liminal pleasure" so much the better.
Translations should usually have permission to publish the poem in the original language alongside the translation. We prefer translations of work that has already been published in the original language.
We also accept poetry in Spanish and Portuguese, which we will translate "in-house". Again, permission to publish the original is preferred, as is work that has already been published in the original language.
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