One of the events at Callander was a discussion, led by Sally Evans and I, on Poetry Scotland and its website.
Sally launched the broadsheet magazine Poetry Scotland, as its publisher and editor, in 1997, and it has now reached issue No. 70. It’s unusual, possibly unique, in publishing only poems. There’s no editorial content, no commentary, no reviews or any other extraneous words – just the poems. And all available for a fiver a year. The broadsheet format’s a noble tradition, followed by many magazines over the years. I remember eagerly going in to Jim Haynes’ Paperback bookshop in Edinburgh in 1962 to buy the monthly issues of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Poor Old Tired Horse, for example.
Back in 1997 Sally and I discussed the possibility of providing a web presence for Poetry Scotland, where we could expand the possibilities with additional web content. The site has gone through a number of changes over the years, not least due to pressures on my time from my own writing and publishing activities, but it’s still going strong at www.poetryscotland.co.uk, and I’m proud of it. One of it’s interactive pages is the Open Mouse, where I invite poets from anywhere in the world to send me their work. If I like what they send me, I publish it; if I don’t, I don’t. Simple, and like the broadsheet, nothing but poems.