Do poets have a responsibility in the age of rage?
Welcome to Outburst Seventeen. Though it’s been a while since Sixteen appeared on your screens our aims and hopes for the magazine remain broadly as before i.e. to publish quality, innovative and daring works. It’s important that we stress again a few of our guiding principles. In Outburst we value our integrity, to compromise would be to betray. Our board makes its decisions on the quality of the work, not on the name of the author. For sure this will cause disappointment to friends – welcome to the club; what doesn’t kill makes stronger. Nor will we reject work from those who may not be our very best friends – as other, state-financed journals and media outlets appear to do – if the work is deemed suitable for us. So what kind of poetry does Outburst favour? Good poetry will be marked by a newness in language and approaches that will excite the reader, it will raise questions hitherto unasked. For example, how should the poet respond to the trend to rage that is sweeping across the world? Should poets become ‘activists’ in the various self-styled liberation movements, populist, and ideological, or even in those to which these movements are opposed? Poets will be aware that, in Keats’ words, ‘the only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing, to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts’. Poets have a proud tradition of … Read the rest