Welcome to Issue #72! What a bumper issue it is, featuring the winners and highly commended entries for the 2019 Open House Poetry Competition. Massive congratulations to the winner, Scherezade Siobhan, and all of the featured poets, who were selected from an extremely strong shortlist by our judge Khairani Barokka. I urge you to read the Judge’s Report, where Okka discusses her choices and gives us all an insight into the difficulties and pleasures involved in the judge’s role. When you read the showcased poems, I’m sure you will agree that this is a duty that Okka has carried out expertly and with great taste.
Plus of course, we have poems and fiction selected for the issue from our regular submissions window. Rereading these while proofing edits this week, I am blown away by the quality of works which hold their heads up confidently alongside the competition winners. Yes, I am, as always, biased, but this is a truly special issue.
Even so, here at the House we are not inclined to sit back and rest. We are open to submissions of poetry and short fiction until the end of October and – cue, trumpets and drums – we are delighted to announce that poet Louise Peterkin will be stepping in as a Guest Editor to read poetry submissions for issue 73 with me. For those of you who don’t know Louise, she has a collection, ‘The Night Jar’, forthcoming with Salt in 2020, but you don’t need to wait until then to read her work: one of her poems, ‘Cologne’ is featured in #issue 72.
So, go on – get a brew, draw up a chair and kick back with issue #72. Read, read some more, and then, if you’re a writer, why not submit?