Thursday, 5 May 2016

Butcher's Dog newsletter - Newcastle Poetry Festival: 7 May 2016

This Saturday, 7 May 2016, sees the Butcher's Dog 7 launch at Newcastle Poetry Festival, full details below:

Butcher's Dog 7 launch at Newcastle Poetry Festival and an interview with our editors.
Butcher’s Dog Issue 7 Launch
Newcastle Poetry Festival 


Saturday 7 May, 2.30pm
Stage 2, Northern Stage,
Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RH
Free Entry

Join us for a brilliant hour of poetry as we launch our seventh edition at Newcastle Poetry Festival. Co-hosted by the BD7 Editors Pippa Little, Jake Campbell and Andrew Sclater.

Readers: Michael Brown, Pamela Gormally, Bridget Khursheed, Roy Marshall, David Spittle and Blaine Ward.

“Butcher’s Dog is a magazine I always find myself recommending to my students, and to fellow poets; it looks great and contains a huge variety of work which feels at once both innovative and accessible. The poetry world needs more magazines like this.” – Andrew McMillan
Find out what else is happening at Newcastle Poetry Festival HERE
Cover artwork by Danny Allison -

In the Dog House

A conversation with the Butcher’s Dog 7 editors, Jake Campbell, Pippa Little and Andrew Sclater.

Jake Campbell: As a guest editor and reader and writer of poetry yourself, how do you view Butcher's Dog within the poetry community?
Pippa Little: Butcher’s Dog is unusual in terms of poetry magazines in that its genesis was in workshops initiated by New Writing North and continues to enjoy its support. It also receives ACE funding. Though the magazine is still quite young I think these factors give BD both stability and confidence. They also contribute to its high quality production values. The editorial group spans a wide range of poetic interests and this, combined with their guest editor policy, means each issue brings in fresh slants and styles. There’s an openness to experimental poetry as well as an appreciation of more traditional forms. I think Butcher’s Dog will continue to discover talented new voices and contribute both to the local and national poetry scene.
Andrew Sclater: Yes, let’s hope we keep discovering new voices!  We all see our launch-pad function as extremely important.  But, and this is great too, we find we’re choosing poems not only by new names but also by well-established poets.  When the editors finally see the writers’ names against the chosen pieces, it’s astonishing how many have long track records. Do you remember how amazed we were to find that Jacob Polley, who’d submitted anonymously like everyone else, wrote one of the poems we chose for BD7? 
As you are the only guest editor so far who’s already had work in Butcher’s Dog, can you say something about what it means to you personally, and what it might mean to other widely-published poets, to appear in a small magazine like ours? Why should you, with several pamphlets and an Oxford Poets collection to your name, bother submitting to us?
PL: Well, to answer your question...
Yes I have been published in BD but also sent two other subsequent submissions which weren't successful! I gather from Facebook friends and acquaintances’ posts that they believe BD is  pretty hard to get in to. Just putting that out there... *
Personally I was very pleased to have work in BD and apart from enjoying reading through the magazine at home, I loved the launch at Live Theatre because of the thought and care that had gone into it – Degna’s autumn leaf flowers on every table, the redacted poem quiz with its Prosecco prize, the varied group of readers and the whole atmosphere. I think having work in magazines such as BD is a very important way to keep in the swim of what’s going on. It’s fascinating to see others’ poets and follow what they are doing, how they’re developing and also to discover new names. Acceptances keep us going and encourage us to pursue putting collections large and small together, entering competitions, doing readings, progressing our practice and helping us to see the wider, overlapping landscapes of contemporary poetry so we can figure out where we fit/where we’d like to go.
OK, questions for you two: Where do you see Butcher’s Dog in 5 years’ time? How might it be different or the same? Is there anything you wouldn't publish?
JC: I find it particularly interesting, Pippa, that you had previously been rejected by us. Shouldn’t all good poetry magazines be relatively difficult to get into? If I compare it to another poetry magazine, The Rialto (which I had work in on my fourth attempt), I think sometimes perseverance is the key, particularly when the editorial team, and therefore tastes, shift with each issue.
In five years’ time, I would imagine that Butcher's Dog would be well into its teenage years [at least in number of issues]. I would expect that we would have firmly cemented our position as the North-East’s leading magazine for contemporary poetry, and would have continued to launch in other cities across the North, and in Scotland and further South, too, to build up a stronger, national presence. Of course, any such work is predicated on a sound funding base but I think we are starting out from a very auspicious position and could look to branch out towards anthologies, collaborations and other as-yet-unknown events.
Personally, I would only not publish any racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive content, but I think that’s a given. Aside from that, I really do subscribe to the ‘anything goes’ mantra: if it hooks me, has a good balance of energy and intellect, and is above all original and passionate, then I will want it in the magazine, irrespective of who it’s by.
AS: Surviving! Any growing system changes as it grows. And it has to, if it is to become more vital and mature. I would like to see Butcher's Dog gaining more influence as a specialist voice of the North (England and Scotland). We will always prioritise ‘northern submissions’ (poems about aspects of northernness by poets from, formerly from, or otherwise connected with the north by geography or inclination). We’ve done pretty well in achieving this so far, but as the mag’s national reputation grows, its regional status must be asserted too. Whatever we can do to act as ambassadors for the dynamic poets of this region will be worth doing.
As Pippa’s noticed, we’re open-minded and inclusive of poetry of all types: experimental, concrete, rhyming, blank, iambic, random, etc. etc. etc. With three editors for each issue, ethical and moral moderation is (happily) inevitable. So, I’m glad to say racism, hate, prejudice, and violence would only be admitted if there is a serious point to be made in doing so and only after serious scrutiny. When there’s a valid reason, the marginal press (of which small magazines form a part) can sometimes say certain uncomfortable things that larger mainstream publishers cannot. 
* [JC/AS: Just to note: out of the many hundreds of poems we receive for each issue we can only publish around two dozen, so getting into Butcher’s Dog is often a question of mathematics...] 
 image: Simon Williams


Coming to the launch?
Get practising your blackout poems for the interval poeting game.

(mini) WORKSHOP:
  • Choose an article
  • Outline the words you like
  • Black out the ones you don’t

Click on the image for some more colourful inspiration

Issue 7 On Sale Now

(buy a copy and we'll love you forever)
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Butcher's Dog
c/o New Writing North
3 Ellison Terrace
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST
United Kingdom


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