Poetry Ireland Review Issue 12 Editorial

Issue 12

Poetry Ireland Review Issue 12 :

Edited by Thomas McCarthy


This issue of PIR will be the last under my editorship. So the unused stationary and stamps, the oxygen tanks and suit-cases of Valium, will be returned to North Great Georges Street to be passed on to the new man or woman. In fact the next Poetry Ireland Review will be a special Eugene Watters issue edited by Conleth Ellis and Rita Kelly; after which the magazine will revert to its general format. Mainly for personal reasons, but also due to the little pressures surrounding the publication of my own new collection, I have been unable to answer a batch of recent letters. It has been decided that we will hold onto all submissions until the incoming editor has got down to work. Any poet who wishes to have his/her submission returned more urgently can write to Poetry Ireland at the usual address.

During my Editorship I have erred on the side of the 'well-made poem', and have rejected work that was too long or too awry. I have also learned that there are as many poetries as poets. In sifting through the hundreds of poems I've tried to save the ones that seemed muscular or wholly imagined. It is important for young poets to remember that their work requires no imprimatur. All encouragement, including Prizes and publication, is also a form of censorship. They should never change their work just to suit a particular editor or magazine. There should be a much more organic and private reason for changing their tone and structure. As Arlami Ussher wrote in his journal, "A religion of poetry ... is apt to mean a religion of poets - who are as fallible as any priesthood."

Poetry Ireland has just advanced into new territory in its fight to promote poetry. It has decided to issue a series of tapes of poets reading from their own work. The first cassette is now ready; a recording of Seamus Deane, reading from his three collections of verse. Details from Rory Brennan. This reminds me of a letter I received from Fred Johnston in Galway. He informed me that the cassette 'Poets in the West', with Sydney Bernard Smith, Gerald Dawe, Paul Durcan and Fred Johnston reading their work, is still available. Slowly, but surely, we come to terms with our modern era ...



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