Magma Issue 62

I’m delighted that my poem ‘Nuria’ features in the latest edition of Magma, edited by Chris Kerr & Kayo Chingonyi. One the great things about Magma is the persistent freshness brought by its revolving team of editors. I also enjoy how its issues are usually themed; it’s interesting to see how different contributors write into, through and around the topic in question. Issue 62, focused on ‘Violence’, features superb poems by Tom Chivers and Kathryn Marris among others as well as a witty and thought-provoking essay by SJ Fowler.

Check it out here.


Poems in Profile


Prague glimpsed at night

I’m delighted that my poem ‘Scan’ is featured as the first entry on the new Poems in Profile site, edited by Trevor Conway. The text of the poem is accompanied by a video and a brief interview with myself. Here’s with Trevor has to say:

What struck me about this poem was the vividness of its imagery/metaphors, and the fact that so many images were linked to one idea. Some poems that try this approach can come across as a mere list of images aimed at showing off. Not so here. Billy Ramsell weaves these into the thought of this poem in a way that seems natural, rather than showy.

Following the thought of this poem is, in a way, a process of zooming in and out. We focus on a galaxy, then closer, to overhead views of Baghdad and Prague. All the while, the main focus of the poem zooms down to a much smaller level – the contents of a womb.

And yet the poem finally resolves itself in more everyday images, which seems perfectly appropriate after the giddy flights of fancy which precede it. I’m not sure what the final line aims to express, but it hints at the idea of yin and yang to me, connected with femininity and masculinity. This seems very fitting in a poem conceived around an ultrasound scan, at a time when parents, like poets, are full of speculation.

This looks like a really interesting project, especially in how each update will focus on a single poetic text.  Check it out!