Monday, April 6, 2009

The history of little magazines, should anyone venture to write it, would be voluminous, and a large section of it would be given over to magazines that only lasted for a single issue. This was common in the days when getting something into print was more costly and difficult than it is now (i.e. pre-digital), but it might be enough to start a poet or two on their career, inspire someome to start their own magazine, or spark a lifelong interest in a chance reader.

Aiden Semmens recently sent me copy of 'Molly Bloom' the magazine he briefly edited after giving up the editorship of Perfect Bound in Cambridge, and it's nice to have this little sample from the annals of poetry history. The issue dates from November 1980 - yes, that's 30 years ago. It was the first issue and the magazine folded after the second.

The contributors were:

E. A. Markham, Geoffrey Ward, Peter Riley, Kelvin Corcoran, Stephen Romer, Rosemarie Waldrop, Vittorio Sereni, Richard Hammersely, David Chaloner, Lee Harwood, Gael Turnbull, Chris Hunt, Aidan Semmens, Malcolm McGregor, Wendy Mulford, Edmond Jabes

That's quite a roll-call. Some, like Kelvin Corcoran, were just starting their careers, some were already established, and some of course, are no longer with us. But when you think how many of those writers are recognised and applauded today, it says much for the editor's knowledge and judgement. And Molly Bloom is a great name - someone should resurrect it.


Ed Baker said...

Turnbull to Waldrop to Jabes!

that'S some triple play!

the rest of the "team" new names to me..

will "google" them
better yet go to my po-dunk local
lieberry and see if
they got 'em.... in the 5-book poetry section

Alan Baker said...

Good luck Ed! Almost everyone on that list is worth reading.

Aidan Semmens said...

Thanks a lot for those kind words, Alan. I've often thought (mostly rather vaguely) of reviving the Molly Bloom 'brand'. Maybe now's the time to do it - here, perhaps, as a blog... whaddya think?

Alan Baker said...

Do it!