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Meniscus Volume 7, Issue 2

Editorial Comment

An astonishing number of works were submitted for this issue of Meniscus: 1068 in total, of which 900 were poems.

Poems were all accepted on individual merit, not to fit with any theme, but the selection has highlighted some interesting preoccupations. A number of poems refer directly to painting, some in the ekphrastic sense (of a piece that is itself representative of a visual artwork), others in more tangential ways. These poems have been grouped together, but there are yet more in which other artistic endeavour, whether in sculpture, photography, instrumental music or song, is key.

Given the above content, it is perhaps unsurprising that the poems demonstrate an admirable attention to craft – and form. If we call them ‘free verse’, that is simply to say that the poems have used their freedom to create compelling forms of their own, forms that have emerged in conjunction with their subjects.

The poets clearly share a good ear for when to make a line break – both rhythmically and intellectually. The breaks are not lazy substitutions for punctuation; the punctuation and line breaks work together in their different ways to score the overall rhythm of the poem, and the breaks are themselves components of meaning.

Of the 44 poems published here, eight are prose poems, reflecting the seemingly inexorable rise of that form. But those eight take anything but a uniform approach, one of them even making interesting experiment with line breaks incorporated within the ‘prose’.

In the end, all the craft and experiment is at the service of having something significant to say, and there are many poems here with considerable insight and substantial emotional weight. In writing about parents, children, illness, and other highly personal subjects, many poets tend to fall short. The poets here, however, communicate their experience with real power, using language with considerable inventiveness and precision.

The prose pieces were initially filtered down to those which showed promising literary control and strong storytelling. The eventual 15 pieces were chosen because of the way the storytelling invested effort in representing a world that is knowable, and yet different. In both short story and flash fiction pieces, the storytelling brought surprises, presenting the world anew in a thoughtful and interesting way. Their abundance and often quirkiness matches up well with the poetry.

We are delighted to announce the final winners in the three-year funding generously provided by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund: the best poem is awarded to Cameron Morse for ‘Newborn Panorama’, and the best prose piece is ‘Motel 47’, by Tanya Vavilova. Our grateful thanks for the Cultural Fund for 6 issues worth of funding.

We hope that you enjoy this selection of work, and will consider submitting your own writing in the future.

Andrew Melrose

Paul Munden

for the Meniscus editors


Author Index

  • Joshua Ackerman
  • Lucy Alexander
  • Amirah Al Wassif
  • Karen Andrews
  • Olivia Bardo
  • John Bartlett
  • Tony Beyer
  • Sheila Black
  • Tom Block
  • Carl Boon
  • Francesca Brady
  • Michelle Brooks
  • Michael Buckingham Gray
  • Clara Burghelea
  • Nicole Butcher
  • Shaina Clingempeel
  • Toby Coy
  • Toby Davidson
  • Jane Downing
  • AR Dugan
  • Marina Fec
  • Federico Federici
  • Joel Robert Ferguson
  • Tom Franken
  • Giles Goodland
  • Seth Grindstaff
  • Aaron Hand
  • Marcia L Hurlow
  • Jill Jones
  • Korbin Jones
  • Silja Kelleris
  • Michael J Leach
  • T (Tim) Loveday
  • Elena Mordovina
  • Cameron Morse
  • Damen O’Brien
  • Frances Olive
  • Stephen Paling
  • KM (Kathy) Preston
  • Mark Putzi
  • Emily Riches
  • Gerard Sarnat
  • Jane Simpson
  • Elizabeth Smither
  • Rosemary Stevens
  • Emily Sun
  • Liwa Sun
  • Julie Thorndyke
  • Leigh Tuckman
  • Tanya Vavilova
  • Karen Whitelaw
  • Lucy Zhang