The first & most remarkable thing about the eighth issue of Anon, the “anonymous submissions magazine”, is how much is packed into such a little magazine. (It is smaller than A5.) Poetry readers are accustomed to white space, as such is poetry’s luxury. But the ninety-six pages of Anon 8 are positively crammed, with fifty poems & three articles, & the generosity is invigorating. It is extraordinary value for money in a poetry magazine, even before considering the high quality of said poems & articles. & they are all very good, making the volume of material almost overwhelming.
(The only names I recognised were Caroline Crew & Jane Commane, but I suppose that’s part of the point. Although, admittedly, my knowledge of poets is patchy at best.)
The magazine is ideally suited for reading in fits & bursts — it will fit in your pocket — as reading it from cover-to-cover, as I’ve done more than once, can be a bit dizzying. I wonder a little about this scattered cacophony, especially as it seems some poets have multiple poems together, whilst others have theirs split up. Other than a cluster of items about Middle Eastern poetry & translation in the middle, the logic of the magazine’s order isn’t necessarily clear. Not that there need to be any obvious order, of course, but I have a feeling that the magazine’s move towards loose themes in future issues will improve it further still, assuming that it can attract enough on-topic submissions of the same impeccable standard. Based on issue eight, I can’t see any reason why this won’t be the case.
I was going to write down some ideas about anonymous submission, but these articles on the Anon website do a much better job than I could.