On a chilly January evening, poets and poetry lovers gathered in the Norman Rea Gallery at the University of York to celebrate the launch of issue II of Eborakon. Seven poets associated with or published in the journal presented readings of their work. This event was a real tribute to the way poetry can set an inspirational tone for a social occasion when read aloud to a live audience; the readings seemed to unite people and emphasise the power of language and thought. As the new co-editor of the journal, I’d like to thank everyone who came for making the event the success that it was. The lively and engaged listeners and the passion of the readers provided a great atmosphere.
There was a definite focus on introspection in the poems read that evening. Some of my favourites included meditations on the beaches of Cornwall, a prose poem about lambing season and translations of Arabic verse. It was fantastic to hear some speakers read their poems about York and the city’s landmarks, such as the historic walls and Clifford’s Tower.
Led by Karl O’Hanlon and Jack Thacker, a group of postgraduate students at York began working on Eborakon just over two years ago, with the aim to create something that would reflect York’s thirst and enthusiasm for poetry. As my fellow editor Alex Alonso explained in his introduction to the evening, ‘although each incarnation of Eborakon will inevitably reflect the tastes and appetites of its editors, what remains is what the magazine has valued from the beginning, and must value at its core: that is, writing which plays with the rootedness of place and the protean nature of language’.
The event was the official launch and a celebration of issue II, but also the opening of the call for submissions for issue III. We want to support new poets as well as established writers, so the call is open to everyone. You can see the guidelines for the call for submissions here: eborakon.com/submissions. The deadline for all submissions is 25 February 2016.
Finally, a notice of thanks to our readers for the launch evening:
• Sam Buchan-Watts
• John Challis
• Ahmed Khaleel
• Karl O’Hanlon
• Michael O’Neill
• Jack Thacker
• JT Welsch
And to our (new and existing) members of the editorial team:
• Laura Blomvall
• Sam Buchan-Watts
• Stephen Grace
• Jack Quin
Photos from the event are featured below. You can buy issue II here: eborakon.com/shop.
- Anna Mercer
Another perspective by Lyn Dawes, who attended the event:
“A new magazine is a thing of hope for both contributors and editors. The first issue of Eborakon had a confidence about it; the second issue shares the same air of assurance. The contributors have provided distinctive poems, works that are contemporary, yet show classical ways of handling language.
The editors' decision to present poetry that offers a clear sense of place was evident in the readings at the launch. The chance to listen to authors reading poems from the magazine and other work was invaluable. Each poet, having read, introduced the next, like passing on a baton; this real continuity echoed the sense of continuity evoked by the name and ethos of the magazine. The readings were clear, attractive and interesting, and built up a picture of landscape, time and human endeavour as always worthy of attention. It was especially pleasant to experience some of the poems from the magazine being brought to life by the voices of their writers.
The magazine seems to offer its readership the chance to be part of a community that is ready to listen, and which is also open to an exploration of ideas regarding poetry and its worth. This inclusive style was also noticeable in the welcoming atmosphere of the evening. It appears that the energy that has gone in to creating the magazine has been well spent. There is great merit in publishing such poetry (by new and established poets) and making it available to a wider audience. Well done to the editorial team. This is a strong start ensuring that Eborakon is already a successful venture.”