Monday, 4 June 2007

Magazine design

I was interested to come across this (scroll down to the No135 review) on the NHI site.
For the most part, I tend to like a book, pamphlet or magazine to be physically well put together if at all possible, and I've mentioned before that it's good when a magazine or anthology gives the poems room to breathe. And I think that's what the reviewer is saying, although I did rather rush through reading it earlier today, so may have missed some of the argument.
On the other hand, as with many other things, variety is the spice of life, and I think the reviewer might be somewhat missing the point. Yes, Poetry Scotland does pack a lot into a small space, but I'm not really sure how that is doing the poet or the reader a disservice, because surely they know exactly what they're getting when they submit to it or buy it? Its selling point (and I'm pretty sure it does sell a lot more than some glossier poetry mags) is precisely that it contains a lot of good poetry (a good mixture of 'name' poets and unknowns) at a ridiculously cheap price. I don't know about anyone else, but I buy different mags for different things, and the same goes for submitting. It would only be doing the poet a disservice if they were unaware their poem was going to be reproduced in a particular way, and that would mean they never read the magazine themselves. And then, of course, they're doing the editor a disservice.

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