It’s time, in the words of Ms Baroque, for a shameless puff. Or rather, since I’m plugging a whole host of exciting new pieces in the second edition of Route 57 (the fledgling e-journal of Sheffield Uni’s English department), to hopefully introduce a collection of poems, short fiction, and experimental writing that’s well worth reading.
The journal is barely half a year old, but already the writing it’s presenting and encouraging is of an excellent standard, especially considering the School of English has no specific creative writing MA. Back in June '06, the first issue not only included work by Anne and Peter Sansom (editor of The North magazine) and rising poets Claire Lockwood and Andrew Bailey (the latter the winner of Poetry Review’s Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2005; all alumni of Sheffield’s English department), but also a whole host of work by current undergraduate students, variously flexing their creative muscles.
This issue builds on that tradition, and as one of the poetry editors for the journal, it was honestly great fun meeting up with fellow editor Joe Kriss and discussing the poems over coffee or a pint. All of the work submitted was at the very least interesting (I’m carefully tiptoeing around certain pieces that I didn't get along with here), and many of the poems were genuinely thought provoking, exciting, and enjoyable. Either way, it was an experience putting it together (submissions were higher in number than we expected: I now have a slightly clearer and more terrifying idea of what it must be like, despite the many rewards, to have Fiona Sampson, Mick Imlah, or Michael Mackmin’s editorial job). But now that’s over, the real fun starts.
Take a look at the site. See what you think. Try Maryam Farahani’s culturally rich piece in the Poetry section. Be moved by Katy Tucker’s short story, ‘If It Ain’t Broke’. See the Non-Fiction section for Alison Gibbons’ interesting exploration and discussion of novels that paint the pictures of artists. Or uncover the secret lives behind spam mailers' names in Lucinda Chell-Munks’ patchwork story. Get yourself comfortable and enjoy. There’s even a few poems, reviews and aphorisms by yours truly, if… ahem… if anyone’s interested or wants to pass judgement…