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pays. So far this year, I’ve had two poems accepted by two magazines I’ve been trying to get into for ages. Years in fact. Happy just isn’t the word!

The first one is Magma, a UK-based magazine publishing three themed issues a year, each with a different editor. The theme of the issue my poem will appear in is ‘Work’ due out next month, and was inspired by a bee colony that took refuge on the side of the building where I work while it scouted for a new home. I took the draft to one of my poetry groups and half-hardheartedly included it in the suite of poems I submitted. When told it had been longlisted late last year I was thrilled, as this was the furthest any of my poems had got with Magma. So, you can imagine my reaction when it made the final cut.

The second publication is Cordite, an online magazine here in Australia based in Victoria. Like Magma, Cordite has themed issues, with the occasional no-theme one, and a different editor each time. My poem, ‘Every other Friday’, appeared in the ‘Monster’ issue edited by Nathan Curnow this month and was published on my brother’s birthday, which was apt seeing as he featured in it. This is quite an old poem that I wrote back when we were living in London and again, I included it in my submission on the off-chance it might resonate. It did.

So, is this luck, timing or perseverance? I think all three. Poetry is incredibly subjective and what one editor disregards, another selects. I remember a blog by Kim Moore, a UK-based poet, who shared her experience of finally getting into The Rialto. The message is, never give up.  And the irony is, I’m appearing in the next issue of Mslexia, another magazine I’ve been trying to get into for years, albeit with one sentence about this very thing.

Every so often I review my subscriptions to refresh and spread the financial love as it were. I have my constants – Mslexia, Poetry Salzburg, Magma – but it pays to explore other publications, which is how I found SLICE.

Published twice a year out of New York, SLICE combines stunning visuals with themed fiction, non-fiction, poetry and interviews. This issue’s theme is ‘Borders’, be they personal, geographical or meta-physical.

I have a confession – rarely do I sit and read a magazine/journal from cover to cover in one sitting. This one I did. Bookended with engaging fiction – from ‘August’ by Aja Gabel, about a woman post-affair to whom a neighbour’s dog takes a shine through to Tara Isabel Zambrano’s ‘New Beginnings’, describing the delicate dance between a couple who first met at an Indian grocery store – there’s much to absorb to find or lose your own lines.

The poetry’s good too. In Josh Bettinger’s ‘Still Life with Bridge as Handshake of Lands’, inanimate objects are given life existing among us and in ‘Night Water’ by Josie Schoel, people are cyclical trying to connect from within their own orbits.

A gem is the ‘Exquisite Corpse’, a game where one writer drafts the first part of a story with their final line being passed to the next to continue it (I remember doing this at school!). Four writers were asked to play, with their words translated from Arabic, French, Swedish and Catalan to create a unique stitched story, which centres around an Institute given four facades.

So, if you’re looking to subscribe to something new, I’d recommend SLICE, because the images speak too, inspiration for that next writing project perhaps…

Chroma Magazine image

Reunion – J V Birch

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