New poetry e-zines seem to be springing up on a daily basis these days, just as others fall dormant after an initial burst of enthusiasm. This phenomenon reflects an unsettling and scary speeding-up of time. Verse appears and is then submerged far too quickly after having been crafted for months or years.
In such a context, it’s significant to encounter an e-zine that announces its first issue with the following declaration of editorial intent:
“..Last autumn the editors were chatting about poetry and the internet and it struck us that there didn’t appear to be a strong issue-based poetry magazine coming out of the UK, the web’s equivalent of some of the wonderful print magazines which we all enjoy. We very much hope that this site you are browsing fills that gap...”
I’m referring to The Compass. A key point here is not only this ambitious statement but the fact that the people behind it (Lindsey Holland, Andrew Forster and Kim Moore) are significant figures in the U.K. poetry scene. Moreover, their work on Issue One of the magazine backs up their words.
The afore-mentioned issue is packed with excellent poems. Personal favourites include new pieces by Maria Taylor, Charlotte Gann and Jonathan Edwards, but there’s plenty more original, top-notch verse to explore. The reviews section, meanwhile, also opens up avenues for future reading with in-depth explorations of several intriguing collections.
In summary, The Compass is already a major addition to the U.K. poetry scene and looks like being around for a long time to come. I’ll certainly be reading every issue!