Jo Hemmant spent many years working as a journalist and editor and only began writing poetry the day her youngest son started school. Her work has appeared in or is upcoming at Horizon Review, qarrtsiluni, blossombones, bluefifth review, Equinox, South, Decanto, Dream Catcher, Fire and Obsessed with Pipework. She lives with her husband, her two sons, aged eight and six and a menagerie in the burbs outside London. Last year she co-founded ouroboros review, a poetry and art journal that appears both online and in print, and set up Pindrop Press, a small independent poetry press. The first book is due off the presses in 2010.
For his sixth birthday, a tent.
Two-man, pop-up, no tripping
over a cat’s cradle of guy ropes and pegs.
It covers most of the floor in his room,
is kitted out with what boys like –
Top Trumps, action figures, plastic insects.
He begs me to read to him there that night.
Crawling in, I notice that the millimetre-thin skin
cuts out noise, the air’s new with polymers.
We shine a moon on the roof with the torch
and find ourselves in a field, staring up
through a plastic square at a sky
deep and dark as a coal mine’s throat.
Outside, the fire has cooled to amber.
Menace storybooks the woods.
Read more of Jo’s work in Horizon Review.
The second issue of poetry and art journal, ouroboros review, is now online and includes an interview with me and a few poems.
Here’s a brief extract from the interview:
“It’s hard to say how living in South Africa has influenced my writing. I find it difficult to think of “influences”; so many things combine to create voice and writing style. If anything, I’d say direct influences have been contemporary Northern hemisphere poets: American, Canadian and English. In my early twenties, I fell in love with Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton’s work, and I adored Erica Jong’s chutzpah.
I admire the poetry of Louise Glück, Margaret Atwood, Marge Piercy, Pascale Petit, Vicki Feaver, Mary Oliver, Ted Hughes, T S Eliot, Mark Doty, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Derek Walcott, Pablo Neruda, Sharon Olds, Adrienne Rich, William Carlos Williams, Billy Collins and many more. There are some wonderful South African poets: Isobel Dixon, Rustum Kozain, Kelwyn Sole, Karen Press, Finuala Dowling, Joan Metelerkamp, Fiona Zerbst and Gabeba Baderoon, among others.”
Issue two also contains Collin Kelley’s interview with Vanessa Daou, poetry by Iain Britton, Allan Peterson, Rebecca Gethin, Robin Reagler, Julie Buffaloe-Yoder, Paul Stevens, Dustin Brookshire, Carolee Sherwood, Deb Scott, Jill Crammond Wickham – and that’s just the beginning. The eye-catching cover art of the full moon over Atlanta is the work of talented photographer, Meg Pearlstein.
Indefatigable editors, Jo Hemmant and Christine Swint, have once again done a sterling job. The journal is beautifully laid out and produced.
Read it here.
I am excited to be the first poet invited on board at Pindrop Press, a new independent poetry publisher with one foot in the United Kingdom and the other in the United States.
The publication of my third collection – and my first volume overseas – is planned for 2010, with a London launch.