I’m writing this, my first editorial for The Interpreter’s House, on National Poetry Day and the internet abounds with poems exploring the theme of Change, all of which feels very fitting as plenty of change is happening here at the House. It would be remiss of me not to start by tipping my hat and raising my coffee mug to Martin Malone and Charles Lauder Jr in appreciation of their excellent stewardship of The Interpreter’s House over the past five years. As a reader, contributor and latterly as a colleague, I’ve had the chance to get to know both Martin and Charles and see just how much they have put into the magazine. The time that they have given, their love of literature and their care for their role as editors have all cast a bright light on the pages of the issues they have edited. Thank you, both. We’ll be watching and cheering on your future successes.
Andrew Wells, our new Assistant Editor, and I are committed to bringing these same qualities – time, our love of literature and care in our editorial roles – as we take up residence. The Interpreter’s House has always been evolving, ever since it was founded by Merryn Williams in 1996, and this evolution will continue, reflecting the tastes and interests of the new editorial team. Of course, this development is most immediately apparent in our switch to going online. Cue Audrey Hepburn as Holiday Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s all dressed up with somewhere to go. How do we look? I admit to being a little partial, but I think the web design of the site is looking very fine indeed and all praise for that should go to Andrew who has been tweaking code and fonts with the mastery of Givenchy fashioning frocks and hats.
As you poke around the different rooms of the House, you’ll notice that so far we have only published one review, Dawn Gorman’s excellent musings on Deb Alma’s collection Dirty Laundry. Worry not: this isn’t because of a lack of poetry to review or a lack of commitment to reviewing it. I received some really useful feedback from former subscribers to The Interpreter’s House, and more than one reader commented that they would like more contact from the House in between issues. Accordingly, we’re going to trial publishing reviews in months when we’re not publishing issues of poems and stories. This way, reviews in November and December can be your brains’ digestifs for issue #69 and reviews in January will be aperitifs for issue #70. Also with a view to being present between issues, we’re starting The Interpreter’s House Monthly Newsletter and if you sign up, I solemnly promise only to email you once a month and never try to sell you things. I also promise to keep you up to date with any new content on the site, information about the Open House competition and any planned events.
With that housekeeping attended to, (gosh, there is so much potential for house puns. I can’t promise that I won’t make more.) we can turn to the poems and stories that comprise issue #69. Oh my! Some beauties are awaiting you. These are poems that observe, that question, some that unsettle, some that reassure. To take a quotation from Clarissa Aykroyd’s ‘In Paris’ and run with it, these are poems that start ‘the twinge / of the impossible bone spur on my heart’ or on my memory or on my funny bone. There isn’t space here to give sufficient mention to every poem and story that is featured, and in any case that would spoil the surprise of discovering them for yourself. So please go ahead and feast your eyes, heart and mind, but before you do, cue Columbo, holding a door handle, with a bright look in his eye. Just one more thing. Even as issue #69 is bundled up in blankets and sent out into the inter-ether, we’re making a start on issue #70. I don’t want to take the baby metaphor too far, but it’s only fair to say we are soliciting contributions for our next progeny. If you’ve written poems or short stories that you think would be a good fit in our next issue, you could do a lot worse that taking a look at our submissions page. After you’ve read issue #69 of course.