Welcome to foam:e – Issue 17

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Welcome to foam:e Issue 17.

Anne Kilner. Bruny Island.We hope you enjoy this issue of foam:e. Such a strange world has manifested since issue 16.

Notes from the editors…

Angela:

The seventeenth issue of foam:e is finally published fourteen months late after what must have been a strange year for just about everyone. For me it was by turns both harrowing and blissful.

In early 2020, in what is now a different world, I took up a printmaking residency in Belgium but when the borders started to close and with Australia not accepting back its citizens we took shelter in the West of Ireland. Here I met the Hungry Hill Writers and as the months advanced took up brisk sea swimming and hill walking. I am grateful for the wonderful welcome of Ireland. In this issue you will find poets from Hungry Hill Writers: Maxine Backus, John Baylis Post, Anne O’Carroll, Julie Aldridge, Stephen Martin, Sheila O’Neil and Jennifer Russell. There is also a poem from Jena Woodhouse about this very special place.

There are some changes going forward. First of all, a warm welcome to Kerry Kilner who brings new energy, literary scholarship and technical expertise to our editorial team.

We hope to look at all the submissions that came in during the 2020/21 submission window and publish Issue 18 around the middle of this year. Thank you to all the authors who entrusted their work to us we will be in a position to read and select the poems for issue 18 soon. So 2021 should be a year with more than one issue. Submissions will then open as usual September 1 until November 30 2021 for next year’s issue 20.

Carmen Keates anchors our editorial team in Australia but Angela Gardner and Kerry Kilner will be based overseas. Because of this the PO Box is no longer active and so anyone wanting a review of Australian poetry books should first let us know by email at foame.editor@gmail.com

Carmen:

Some people deal with stress by throwing themselves into their work, and others by taking to their bed, and well before the start of 2020 I had become the latter. Although 2020 was obviously the ‘hard’ year for the global community, my family’s ‘hard’ year was actually 2019.

We had a catastrophic series of health emergencies. I can’t tell you how many times I accompanied someone in an ambulance in 2019, how many times I stayed up overnight helping someone to the bathroom and back to bed, how many times we waited in hospitals all day to see a doctor that never emerged. My family’s 2019 left us all literally, physically exhausted, as well as feeling deeply hopeless, and guilty for not handling things better, with a frighteningly vivid insight into our limitations. It also provided us, within our little group, new knowledge of each of our different strengths and powers. We knew how to deploy each other for different types of missions, and who NOT to ask. This little bit of new knowledge, group coping knowledge, was hard won.

By the time COVID happened, I was in an automatic “no, thank you” stance to taking on any outside challenges at all. Although in terms of writing—I always need to write, and did throughout the whole period—I never tried to build anything, or edit anything, as that was too hard, too much like an individual coping, which I definitely wasn’t.

So foam:e was put on the backburner in a semi-permanent way that was initiated by what Angela was going through and confirmed by my inability to focus or engage… on the computer. I also just needed privacy, and in an environment where you were expected to ‘try’ all the time to stay connected by being on the computer, I felt sickened at this entire situation that had brought outside work into my home, my bedroom, my kitchen, my nights.

I am so glad to see this 2020 issue of foam:e finally emerge. Apart from the special Irish cadre of poets with whom Angela became connected, the poems in this issue are from the submission window that was open September-November 2019, before COVID.  To everyone who had tried to contact us, my sincere apologies. To everyone who has waited so long, thank you.

Kerry:

I’m delighted to be joining Angela and Carmen as co-editor of foam:e. Although I’m not a poet, I’ve watched foam:e persist over its 17 year history and continue to publish some of the best contemporary poetry around. With another hand on the helm we’re looking forward to increasing foam:e’s profile in Australia and internationally. When the land you’re in takes its poetry seriously, we’re bound to be inspired to expand our horizons.

NB – A note about the author biographies: we are aware of a little glitch in the linking to the biographical statements directly from the poems. This will be fixed shortly. To find out more about the authors, simple search the page for their name from the author page.

Photo credit. Anne Kilner Bruny Island

April 2021

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