The literary magazine scene is thriving again, thanks to the web, and one mag which has achieved prominence and a good deal of acclaim is Succour. Last night the latest and seventh issue was launched in the Briton's Protection pub here in Manc, and John and I went along and met Max Dunbar, one of Succor's several UK regional editors, and Managing Editor Anthony Banks, and heard two great readings by contributors to the current issue, Animals. Nick Royle's striking story 'The Bee Eater' displayed his trademark style, whereby everyday reality is slyly shifted into the surreal and indeed shockingly weird. Aidan Clarkson's poem, 'Feathers, Families', dealing with a strange mass metamorphosis, was equally arresting and otherworldly - all the more so for its deadpan demotic tone. Great stuff: I bought the mag forthwith.
Nick and Anthony Banks also read stories of their own which had appeared in the London Magazine (which, in spite of recent Arts Council cuts, is still going strong due to the energetic efforts of the acting editor Sarah Mae Tuson and her team). John also read: his recent serious illness has somehow pushed him back into writing poetry after years away from it and writing academic texts instead, and last night he put his toe back in the reading water with a very short poem from his Peterloo collection, In the Footsteps of the Opium Eater.
It was a great evening, and great to drive home with a sense that the small magazine scene is buzzing once again.