Smiths Knoll was the third poetry magazine to publish one of my poems.
I’d submitted to Smiths Knoll twice before, and on both occasions had received a helpful handwritten note from the editor Michael Laskey within a week or two.
The poem ‘Careers Advice’ appeared in issue 47, 2010 which arrived with a handwritten ‘thank you for your excellent poem’ and a twenty pound note.
The joy in receiving this lovely envelope was increased as I read through a magazine of consistent quality where poems had obviously been carefully selected and laid out thematically in such a way as to communicate together to make the whole package more unified and satisfying. I’m honored to have a poem in this final issue which is full of fine poetry and which you can purchase by clicking the link below.
Michael Laskey is of course a fabulous poet in his own right, and if you haven’t read his work may I recommend that you do. I have a copy of his 1997 Smiths Doorstop pamphlet ‘In the Fruit Cage’ which contains wonderfully fluid and subtly moving poems in which so much is conveyed by objects and situations. I find myself entirely immersed and have that feeling of ‘coming to’ when I finish reading them, the feeling you get when a poem fully transports you to another world.
2010 was also the year that I attended my first poetry festival at Aldeburgh which Michael Laskey had set up decades before. I wandered into a packed room where Laskey was conducting a lightening paced free workshop. His energy, enthusiasm and intelligence seemed to light the place up- it was a very special experience.
Here is what the Poetry Trust has to say.
Farewell to Smiths Knoll After 21 years, the 50th and final edition of Smiths Knoll – co-edited by Joanna Cutts and Michael Laskey with their unrivalled reputation for, among other splendid qualities, the most rapid turnaround of submissions – has just been published. “A sad day” writes Anthony Wilson in his appreciative recent blog post – read more. We will greatly miss the magazine’s sound editing, its avowed un-showiness, the regular discoveries of new poets, and above all Smiths Knoll’s commitment to readable and relevant new poems.