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Making Sense: Notes on Contributors

October 31, 2007

Writers often lean on what they see. For this issue, we challenged contributors to build up a world in scent, taste, touch, sound, or any combination of these. We asked for imagery — a clear, active connection with the world. As Wislawa Szymborska said in “Conversation with a Stone”: “Even sight heightened to become all-seeing/ will do you no good without a sense of taking part.”

We got… scales, petals, cloves. The wet insides of living creatures. Jackknives, fishhooks, claws. Days and nights, in one way or another aware and present. People large and immediate; people small in a wide, living space. A sense of beginning and ending and putting to bed…

— Katherine Abbott and Rob Mackenzie

Katherine Abbott (Spring Farm Almanac) recently graduated from the MFA program in fiction at the University of New Hampshire. She’s had fiction, poetry and nonfiction published — in the Comstock Review, Entelechy International, The Fourth River, and The Berkshire Review, among others — and accepted for an upcoming anthology, The Farmer’s Daughter. Previously she was Associate Editor of the Berkshire Advocate, an independent weekly paper. When she gets away from her desk, she plays recorder with a fiddle jam group and climbs trees with her cat. Prior to guest-editing this issue, she contributed work to the Ekphrasis and Lies and Hiding issues.

Rachel Barenblat (Velveteen Rabbi) is a student in the Aleph rabbinic program. Her most recent collection of poems is chaplainbook (laupe house press, 2006). Wood smoke, good toffee, and making pickles are a few of her favorite things. Rachel is qarrtsiluni’s most prolific contributor, with eleven pieces in the magazine to date. She also served as co-editor of the Opening in the Body issue.

Polly Blackley lives in Yorkshire. Her work has appeared in Smiths Knoll magazine, and she recently won a poetry competition run as part of the WEA Yorkshire and Humber’s Create07 Festival. Her previous appearances in qarrtsiluni were for the Education, Short Shorts and Lies and Hiding issues.

K. Cohen’s work previously appeared in the Come Outside and Ekphrasis issues of qarrtsiluni. She stores some of her sketches online, here and here. In lieu of a bio, she writes,

There is nothing like a happy ending.
There is always something like a path.
Hineni . . .

Claire Crowther (publisher’s webpage) has been writing poetry for about ten years. Her work has appeared in various print and online journals, including Ambit, Great Works, PN Review, poetry p f, Shadowtrain, and The Times Literary Supplement.

Natalie d’Arbeloff (Blaugustine) is a multi-national artist and writer living in London. Her latest book is The God Interviews, which first appeared as a comic strip on her blog. Previous books and limited editions are shown on her website. This is her ninth appearance in qarrtsiluni.

Dick Jones (Patteran Pages), a drama teacher and musician, has been writing seriously for the past 20 years. His poems and short stories have been published in a wide range of magazines, both on- and offline, and he is currently preparing a selection of poetry for submission to publishers. This is his sixth appearance in qarrtsiluni.

Lucy Kempton (box elder) is British, living in France with husband and dog, sometimes teaching English. A displaced dilettante and prosaic spirit, who may yet entertain poetic angels unawares. Her photos also appeared in the Ekphrasis issue.

Rob Mackenzie (Surroundings) is a Scottish poet. His poetry chapbook, The Clown of Natural Sorrow, was published by HappenStance Press in 2005. He blogged about his experience guest-editing this issue here. Last year, a poem of his appeared in qarrtsiluni‘s Education issue.

Gill McEvoy (homepage) is published widely online and in magazines. Her first chapbook, Uncertain Days (Happenstance Press) is now sold out.

James Midgley’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, Stand, Iota, and The New Writer, among others. He volunteers as gallery director for poetry of deviantART and edits the poetry journal Mimesis. He blogs at one last wild / enjambement.

Finnish-Canadian artist Marja-Leena Rathje (website) has been contributing to qarrtsiluni since the first issue. Her printworks have been exhibited throughout Canada and internationally. She lives and works in Vancouver.

Rachel Rawlins (frizzyLogic) is currently very excited by meditation, knitting and spreadsheets. This may change. She drinks very expensive coffee which she can’t afford and is hoping this will change. She loves taking pictures almost as much as she loves the dog, the cat and the boys. She also contributed work to the Ekphrasis, Short Shorts, and Science as Poetry issues, and helped edit the Lies and Hiding issue.

Katie Raynes just finished her MA in English Literature. She likes to write fiction, draw, and analyze characters from Elizabethan plays. She blogs at Elaby’s LiveJournal.

Jonathan Sa’adah’s photographs often deal with people and political/social topics. His favorite places to photograph are streets and within shared lives.

Claire Sharpe’s poetry has appeared in a number Canadian and UK magazines, and her essay “Tove Jansson and the Divided Self” was published in a scholarly collection entitled Tove Jansson Rediscovered (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, September 2007). Claire is constantly trying to find ways to integrate and preserve creativity in the context of the wider world. She is currently combing eBay and Toronto pawn shops for a second-hand SLR film camera.

Barbara Smith (Barbara’s bleeuugh!) lives in the Republic of Ireland with her six children and partner. Doghouse Books have recently published her debut collection, Kairos. Her work has been published in Europe, the US, Canada and beyond. She is currently enrolled in the MA in Creative Writing programme with Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, truly making her a ‘Cross-Border poet.’ Listen to an interview with Barbara here (mp3).

Jessamyn Smyth (website) is a Vermont writer in several genres, and an occasional college professor, director, and producer. Her work has been published and/or honored in American Letters and Commentary, The Best American Short Stories 2006, and several other online and print literary journals. She is working on at least three books right now, and lives in the wild with the animals.

Born in Budapest, 1948, George Szirtes (website, blog) came to England as a refugee following the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. His dozen books of poetry include The Budapest File, An English Apocalypse and Reel (all from Bloodaxe), the last of which was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize for 2004. He has also published several books of translation from the Hungarian, including The Night of Akhenaton: Selected Poems of Agnes Nemes Nagy and The Rebels by Sándor Márai. He has edited a number of anthologies, including New Writing 10 (with Penelope Lively), published by Picador, and An Island of Sound (Harvill, 2004).

Ray Templeton is a Scottish writer and musician, living in St. Albans, England.

MB Whitaker (Find Me a Bluebird) is a musician, graphic designer, and editor living in the Northern Rockies of the United States. One of her poems was included in qarrtsiluni‘s Finding Home issue. Her band, The Heard, has their most recent CD available here.

Jill Crammond Wickham (jillypoet: mom trying to write) is a writer, artist, teacher, and mother, not necessarily in that order. She has had poems published in a variety of journals, including Other: Seven, damselfly press and Blueline. Her latest project is Fertile Ground, a site where writers can come for writing prompts, inspiration, technical/instructional info, publishing opportunities, and an overall sense of community.

An Edinburgh-born poet with a scientific background, Colin Will (website, blog) now lives in Dunbar. Former Chair of the Scottish Poetry Library, he now chairs StAnza, the poetry festival held at St. Andrews, Scotland every March. His fourth collection, Sushi & Chips, was published in 2006.

Tony Williams (blog) has published in a number of print and web magazines. He lives in Sheffield, UK.

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Categories: Making Sense
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