The June issue of Visual Verse is now live and open for new writing submissions. As always, we provide a compelling image and invite you, dear writers, to respond with 50-500 words, written within one hour.
This month it is wonderful to publish a very special picture, taken by the writer Jenni Fagan. Having an author supply a photograph gives us a unique insight into how the narrative eye works – what inspires it, how eclectic it actually is. Jenni is a prolific photographer, and a celebrated writer – and in the responses to her work, ways of seeing are certainly examined.
We are also delighted to have George Szirtes leading the writing this month. In George’s eliptical directness is the encouragement to write and most of all to read, deeply and with concentration, what the world offers. This month George has also responded to Jeremy Paxman’s accusations that poets ‘have connived in their own irrelevance’ and are only addressing each other. If Visual Verse’s speed of growth and Twitter engagement is anything to go by, then we say Paxman has it wrong. And, one of our last month’s supporting poets, Vidyan Ravinthiran, is on the Forward Prize shortlist for best first collection – is that conniving irrelevance?
Our support poets for this month, writer Doug Cowie and Karen McCarthy Woolf, share a sideways view of the world, although Doug’s work is more in the noir genre and Karen’s remembers a recent past that shocks with its difference. Our new ‘never been published’ slot goes to a young writer called Annamika Sarod, who has taken Jean Rhys’ Modernist classic ‘Voyage in the Dark‘ as her starting point, and fused it with Jenni’s picture to imagine a gloriously doomed voice for Rhys’ protagonist and her times.
We hope you enjoy the issue – submit, tweet, read, be inspired, and thank you for all your support.
Kristen Harrison and Preti Taneja