Tag Archives: Stephen Daniels

INKSPILL Guest Poet Stephen Daniels Workshop Exercise

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We asked Stephen Daniels for a workshop activity. Get your pens ready! 

‘Wordslast’ is a poem from Stephen’s debut collection. tell mistakes

It started life as a workshop poem, written in one of Hilda Sheehan’s workshops. Stephen shared the poem during his interview earlier and now shares the exercise.

We read a poem called ‘deer suddenly’ by Carola Luther (the start of the poem can be found here here) – in the poem the poet pushes together words to add pace, to surprise and for originality.

I was then asked to try the same – push words together, maybe even pull them apart and see what happens to your writing.

My poem ‘Wordslast’ does something similar but I used the reversal of these pushed together words to drive the narrative. I think this  technique is a good way of surprising yourself with writing, and the experimentation can help us find a way into subjects that can be tough for us to access otherwise.

 

INKSPILL Guest Poet Stephen Daniels Those Quick-Fire Sparks

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We asked Stephen a series of quick-fire questions and he was game enough to share his results. 

Here are the questions – maybe you would like to comment with your own answers below.

 

Confident writer or anxious?

Slow or fast?

Planner or plunger?

 

 

 

And now here are the questions and Stephen’s answers. (We didn’t want to sway yours!)

 

Confident writer or anxious?

A confident writer – an anxious self-editor, and my own biggest critic! 

Slow or fast?

Fast, Fast, Fast… I tend not to do anything slowly… life is too short! 

Planner or plunger?

Plunger… I find that planning tends to over complicate things. 

101 .Stephen Daniels swindontheatrescouk © swindontheatres.co.uk 

INKSPILL – Guest Editor Interview with Stephen Daniels

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Guest Editor Interview with Stephen Daniels.

 

1) Why was Amaryllis Poetry started? What was the idea behind the magazine?

Amaryllis was started over 4 years ago by my Poetry Swindon friend Hilda Sheehan. Hilda wanted to help publish Swindon poets and friends and it started as a relatively informal invite only project. After a year, the project slowed and was paused for around a year. Two years ago I offered to take Amaryllis over and invite submissions. I was hoping to find exciting poets within our network, but it soon exploded and I was receiving submissions from all over the world. Amaryllis has now published over 200 poets and is widely read around the world. 

 

2) Any advice to writers submitting to Amaryllis? 

Make sure you include a small note with your submission – nothing frustrates me more than when people send their poems with no note. It shows a lack of pride in your work.

A final piece of advice is something I publish on the website when submissions are open: Take a risk – Early on during Amaryllis I received very ‘safe’ poems and I am really looking for poems that are different, poems that reach the parts other poems struggle to reach!

 

3) What makes Amaryllis different to other mags on the market?

First there is the editor – me! I think my taste in poetry is quite eclectic. I enjoy more formal poetry, but I don’t think there are many online magazines that are embracing experimental poetry in the same way that Amaryllis does.

Secondly I am always eager to find new poets and new voices. I tend to forgive the exuberance and imperfections of a less experienced poet and I think this has built a reputation for publishing poets for the first time – who then go on to be published in many other places.

 

4) What is your mission at Amaryllis?

To share great poetry with as many people as possible. I don’t think it is any more complicated than that. 

 

5) Describe a day as an editor.

It is fairly unremarkable – as I have a full-time job and two relatively young children, so I tend to edit in the time in between things. Finding 30 minutes here or there to sit down and be invited into someone else’s world – it is a real privilege.

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6) Anything that has surprised you about editing a magazine?

I think the thing that surprised me most, was that a powerful poem is not enough. When I started writing, I wrote some seriously dark poetry… sometimes that is all it would have – darkness and more darkness and I thought that was fine – if it is written well, it will be good enough. What I have come to realise through editing is that this is rarely enough.

A well written poem is good, but it needs different dimensions.  It needs to be have moving parts and complexities that surprise the editor – this has affected my own writing and it is often the most disappointing rejections, where the poem is well written, but hasn’t got that extra element that lifts it above poems.

One other thing that surprised me, is that most poems are good. This may sound ridiculous, but what I have found from people submitting is that they perceive a rejection as the poem not being good. In my experience that is rarely the case – it is more often the case that the poem lacks something I am looking for, or that it wasn’t right at that time. It is likely that the poem will be picked up by a different editor. Don’t take the rejection process too seriously – it is just one person’s opinion. 

 

7) Any upcoming projects we should know about?

No – other than submissions are re-opening in November!

 

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http://www.amaryllispoetry.co.uk/p/submissions.html

INKSPILL An Afternoon With Guest Writer Stephen Daniels

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Our second Guest Writer and Editor is Stephen Daniels.

Stephen Daniels is the editor of Amaryllis Poetry  and the Secretary for Poetry Swindon. His poetry has been published in various magazines and websites, including: The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed With Pipework, Ink Sweat & Tears, And Other Poems, The Lake, Clear Poetry, Picaroon Poetry, The Fat Damsel, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Eunoia Review, Algebra of Owls, The Open Mouse, I am not a silent poet and Nutshells and Nuggets, Good Dadhood, The Poetry Shed, Obsessed With Pipework, The Curly Mind and Down in the Dirt.

Stephen’s poetry appeared in several anthologies including Richard Jefferies Writers – ’78 Anthology, Domestic Cherry, Ink Sweat & Tears ’12 Days of Christmas’ 2016 and my poem ‘Light’ was runner-up in the Candlestick Press micropoem competition 2015.

His debut pamphlet ‘Tell Mistakes I Love Them‘ was published by V. Press this year.

You can find out more at www.stephenkirkdaniels.com and @stephendaniels

101 .Stephen Daniels swindontheatrescouk

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