Fifteen is a significant number. It is the number of the Magic Square, which has been used as a talisman in many cultures around the globe for centuries. The launch of Issue 15 falls three days after May 15th: the International Day of Families, the Day proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families, particularly women and children. In many cultures the number 15 has ‘coming of age’ significance – we believe Long Poem Magazine comes of age with Issue 15.
We are delighted, therefore, to announce the award of an Arts Council grant to fund issues 15 and 16. Since LPM’s inception, we have striven to publish an equal proportion of women to men, and to foster a sense of literary community and engagement across languages, cultures and countries – publishing translations from nine languages to date, with a tenth in the pipeline. The work we publish concerns all aspects of physical and spiritual life in an unstable, uncertain world, expressed through a range of styles and forms, from the traditional to the contemporary, from the formal to the innovative and experimental. LPM differs from other magazines in its dedication to publishing extended work exceeding seventy-five lines, for which poets and readers alike have expressed gratitude for the scope this offers in a market dominated by forty lines.
Crucial to our funding success has been the establishment of partnerships over the years, beginning from the outset with Martin Parker, our loyal designer, and Linda Hubbard at the Barbican Library, who takes all the stress out of our London launches. We have long-standing support from other London venues such as the Poetry Library and the Poetry Café, the latter a regular venue for our Tea & Cakes fundraising events. Since collaborating with the Fitzwilliam College Literary Association, we have established an enthusiastic following in Cambridge at the November launches. More recently, in a bid to target a higher proportion of Black, Asian and exiled writers, we are grateful to Dr Nathalie Teitler at Complete Works and Dr Jennifer Langer at Exiled Writers Ink for their assistance and collaboration. We are excited to have formed a recent partnership with Modern Poetry in Translation, a journal we have long admired, and look forward to a fruitful alliance.
We have also held readings in Sheffield and Glasgow and aim to extend our geographical footprint in the near future. We would welcome any suggestions and/or offers of support from contributors and readers. We continue to welcome proposals for essays on long poems. In addition, we aim to return to publishing online reviews and would welcome reviews of book length poems or those mainly comprising long poems.
Without funding, LPM relies on magazine sales to pay for design and printing – neither the editors nor the contributors are remunerated for the work they do. In the wake of Philip Pullman’s resignation as Patron of Oxford Literary Festival over their refusal to pay authors, it is particularly gratifying that, for this issue and the next at least, we will be able to pay our contributors in addition to their standard ‘contributor’s copy’. Significantly, the funding has allowed us to have our website redesigned to include an archive. We hope Issue 15 validates its numerical magic.
Lucy Hamilton and Linda Black