Welcome to Collection 2 of Crowstep journal! We continue to be humbled by the quantity and quality of submissions from around the world and are already reading for Collection 3. The poets in Collection 1 set a high standard and helped to illustrate what we are looking to include in this project. Thank you again to those foundational poets for sharing your work. As a result we attracted an even greater range of diverse, beautiful, edgy, surprising, thought provoking and intelligent voices. We are now delighted to introduce 15 more poets and another 28 poems covering a variety of themes, approaches and styles.
From the trauma of war and eating disorders to class conflict, re-cultured identity and questions of displacement and belonging, this new collection invites us to consider the role of contemporary poetry in our socio-political evolution:
“A poet's work is to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.” Salman Rushdie
As John mentioned in his first editorial, the art that lurks in our counter-cultures often acts as a mirror to those personal and collective stories that have been forced underground. Our words and our stories matter in whatever form they are shared, but poetry I believe has a special way of shaping collective experiences in a nuanced way that is concise and powerful. One line of a poem has on many occasions spoken to me more than an entire book. Such is the beauty of this art form, that is not limited to conventional ways of knowing, but explores the possibility of new language that can arise from engaging our senses through the magical spell of words.
On a recent writing residency in Scotland, I had a dilemma about what to write and from what perspective. How can I do justice to a place when I don't even live there? I came to the conclusion that I do it by being authentic and writing from the only perspective I really have, which is through the lens of an over-excited, peri-menopausal British Asian woman whirling around the Highlands. It is what it is (in the words of Tyson Fury). Through exploring juxtapositions of east and west, I found a way to create a new way of speaking. This enabled me to convey what I was experiencing in an unfamiliar environment. This is how I think poetry can help us to 'name the unnamable', reimagine the unthinkable and keep difficult conversations alive.
Huge thanks to all poets that have taken the time to submit and for considering Crowstep Journal a home for your work. It has been a pleasure and an honour to read it.