Image by Fabien Delaube
I have a very clear memory of the first time that I was introduced to certain books or writers or to the music of certain bands. Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers, for example: my memory of the original cover is as potent as the memory of my first glass of beer. The Smiths, too: I thought The Smiths were from outer space. (If I'd been listening to more Patti Smith I might have been considerably more blasé.) My point being that the first time I read Nick Coleman's music criticism was in Time Out in the 1980s. I used to sidle into the newsagent's, pick up a copy, read Nick's columns then quietly put it back. Imagine, then, how delighted I am that Nick has written something for us this week. The same goes for Paul Muldoon, who is... well, Paul Muldoon. He's a tremendous poet, and we have a new and unpublished poem by him in these pages. (Or should that be "pages"? I can never work it out.) This makes me very happy.
Elsewhere, we have my favourite Julia Copus poem, a terrific piece of improvisation by Steve Beresford (you're really going to want to look at his list of credits), a dramatic and moving poem by Raymond Antrobus and outstanding work by Fran Lock, Pascale Petit, Patrick O'Malley, Richard Skinner, Bethany W Pope and Anna Maria Mickiewicz. Anwen Kya Hayward writes eloquently about current events, Brandon Robshaw's writings on etymology are now becoming a series, I'm pleased to say, and Tom Raymond has agreed to write a serialised novel ("a novella", he insists) with the same title as this magazine. Lastly, Noah Rasheta provides a sane and clear take on Buddhism. I have been listening to him for at least a year and to say that I've found his words extremely helpful is an understatement.
A big thank you to everybody who's contributed. I know that you will encounter a lot of people here for the first time and I hope that, looking back, you will remember them. Also, please spread the word. We are committed to amplifying as many under-represented voices as we possibly can; to exhibiting diversity and to giving voices, young and old, a wider platform. In other words: tell your friends. And keep submitting, please.