Sunday, 21 October 2012
If there is a guiding – but tenuous – idea informing this ‘Surreality of Now’ issue of Neon Highway, it might well be that somewhat incongruous slant on life as we know it or, rather, as we should know it: realty is often surreal in itself.
It is all a matter of sensibility; from the Place Pigalle, haunted by the presence of George Melly, to the far Northwest shores of Seattle, Washington, via Jumbo Records in Leeds, or the geological enigmas of the quasi-industrial Sierra Minera, the contents on this issue disclose a ‘topography of the imagination’ infused by diverse states of mind; some cool and impersonal, others angry or experimental, dissonant or melodic, sensual or abrasive: guerrilla prose, compressed anti-poetry, shamanistic or hermetic mysteries of self and other, Beat-pop vignettes, verbal snapshots of the fleeting, wayside phenomena of the everyday.
These are the preoccupations of a unique selection of contributors, whose images and texts we are delighted to present to our readers for this special Autumn 2012 edition: Andrew Darlington, Fiona Pitt-Kethley, Michael Woods, Rupert M Loydell, Marie Zorn, Wednesday Kennedy, Aad de Gids, Lorraine Mariner, Roy Sutirtha, MJ Foster, Alicia Winski.
Neon Highway is edited by Jane Marsh and Alice Lenkiewicz. Neon Highway was set up in 2002 as a non-profit making little poetry/arts magazine
I have begun a new series of Neon Highway issues that are to be edited by guest poets. I thought this would be an interesting idea to celebrate the variety of editors and their interests and poets of choice. Our first guest editor is A C Evans. I pass you over to AC to introduce this issue.
Yes, thank you Jane! And, without further delay we can meet our contributors to this ‘surreality of now’ edition of Neon Highway…. Unidentified flying poet Andrew Darlington is author of Euroshima Mon Amour (2001), a collection of SF poems enthusiastically reviewed as ‘poetry from a twisted mind’ by NME. A visionary novel Beast of The Coming Darkness is currently hunting a publisher; then there are reviews, interviews and fiction sales to hosts of UK and international anthologies and magazines. A live performance video (Five Leaves Left) and records (as part of the U.V. Pop Electronic group) have also appeared, and probably been deleted! Andy’s spoken about how any vague potential for academic success ‘got terminally wrecked by teenage addictions to loud Rock ‘n’ Roll and cheap Science Fiction’. Aad de Gids has a straight twin brother Bas, while he himself is gay. We’re from the ‘anti-generation’, Aad tells Neon Highway, ‘a bit punkish’. Bas is the imagist; the sharp eye for imagist distortions of a distorted society. Our aesthetics have always been anti-theatre, anti-poetry, anti-cinema = experimental, neomusic, nonmusic, muzak, the ‘die-collector-scum’ aesthetics, dada, postneodada. All that is new, strange, decoding all codes, societal, sexual, natural, literal, philosophical, transdimensional; this, we try to do. ‘We have thousand personalities now and, it shows’. M J Foster is a writer, poet and the founding editor of Inclement Poetry Magazine (est. 2000). Her work has been published in Still, Iota, Exile, First Impressions, Poetic Licence, Breathe, Candelabrum and Amber Silhouettes. Her short story, 'The Willow' was shortlisted for the Myslexia Women's Short Story Prize 2012. She graduated with a first class BA (Hons.) in Writing from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She is often mistaken for Beyoncé by absolutely no-one and has a long-running battle with a squirrel with a grudge. Wednesday Kennedy has lived and worked internationally as a writer and performer in theatre, cabaret, television, radio and print media. ‘Always experimenting, working with sound artists, musicians, dancers, film makers, actors, honing her craft and creating her body of work… surfing into every scene like a gate-crasher’. Post Romantic, her 1999 CD, prefigured performances at The Edinburgh Fringe, and beyond. She has also written One Woman Shows for other performers, including Intimate and Deadly for Christine Anu and recently released her magical realist memoir 21st Century Showgirl, ‘an all-girls adventure epic about being a One Woman Show in a Brave New World’. Rupert M Loydell is Snr Lecturer in English with Creative Writing at University College Falmouth, and editor of Stride and With magazines. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including the recent Wildlife and A Music Box of Snakes, co-authored with Peter Gillies. He edited From Hepworth's Garden Out poems about painters and St. Ives and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh, an anthology of manifestos and unmanifestos. He lives in a creek-side village with his family and far too many CDs and books. Lorraine Mariner was born in 1974, grew up in Upminster and attended Huddersfield University arinerwhere she read English, and then University College London, where she read Library and Information Studies. Her pamphlet Bye For Now was published in 2005. In the same year she also received an Arts Council Writer's Award and in 2007 her poem ‘Thursday’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best individual poem. ‘Her gift is to reveal how much of the everyday is purely surreal and to articulate the strange and fleeting thoughts we often have, but rarely have the nerve or quick-wittedness to voice’. Lorraine Mariner’s Furniture was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Fiona Pitt-Kethley studied at the Chelsea School of Art where she obtained a BA (Hons.) before going on to become a full-time writer. As a student she ushered at the Old Vic and National Theatre and while writing sometimes worked as a film extra. Now living in Cartagena, Spain, Fiona has acquired new hobbies and has adopted seven feral cats. She goes rock-hunting and hill-walking in the Sierra Minera and is currently writing a book on its history. Her Selected Poems was published in 2008 and includes work from her notorious 1986 collection, Sky Ray Lolly. Alicia Winski was born in Los Angeles and has been hailed as ‘a fierce poetic voice, spreading her wings across the West Coast’. With an impressive following in both LA & Seattle, she is ‘a provocative figure on page, online and on stage’. She is author of Running on Fumes and works at Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House (Editor, Seattle division). Alicia possesses a craft that is ‘melodic, brutally honest and oftentimes, quite sultry’. Her words encompass strength, courage and a passionate perspective on life and love as seen through the eyes of a poet. She is currently working on her next collection, Naughty Girls Dream in Color, which is anticipated to be released in 2012. Michael Woods is a surrealist consultant, writer and experimental filmmaker. Expert in special photography and effects in all media he is experienced in publicity, poster design, digital work, prop photography and vintage prints. Also, he is joint author with George Melly of Paris and The Surrealists (1990). Work in progress includes: constructing and editing a film version of the stage play Ajax, (2011) with Jack Shepherd, and The Distorted Self – Schizophrenia, an experimental film with Eliot Albers. Soho and Elsewhere: an exhibition of photographs 1979-90 (2012) and Portobello Eye (with Michael Horovitz) explore the ‘topography of the imagination.’ And, finally, Marie Zorn is our ‘eternal wanderer questioning the ambiguities of desire, the wonders and the mysteries of the Self and the Other, the thinking body… the body that we both are and have’. When asked about her work Marie says: there is a Paul Klee painting entitled ‘Beginning of a Poem’, in which the painter offers these words as a riddle... ‘so fang es heimlich an’ (caught it on secretly.) ‘Should there exist’ she asks, ‘other reasons to write than to steal and hide, to chase elusiveness of emotions and conceal them in beauty, crafting amulets to protect ourselves from their tearing power?’
Neon Highway Avant-garde Literary journal PUBLISHES: POETRY and ART
Neon Highway Poetry Magazine ISSN: 1476-9867
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Illustration: Untitled photo [detail] by Michael Woods (c) MichaelWoods