ABOUT JUNCTION BOX

Junction Box wants to provide a space for poets, primarily, but also for other kinds of creative and critical practitioners, to talk about the world, themselves and the others, in a free and category-open fashion. We declare a bias in favour of the exploratory, the reactive, the immediate, what one might call a spirit of unprepossession, as against reflections in tranquility on carefully packaged residues of experience. By means of essays, reviews, improvisations, anecdotes, eruptions, interviews, manifestoes and the like, Junction Box will attempt to get under the skin of a small portion of the cultural universe, to reveal the swarming inter-cellular activities that make it glow.

From Issue 1: Towards an e-zine

Junction Box will be mainly prose-based. The idea is a determinedly simple one: to invite carefully chosen poets, writers and artists to write about whatever they want to write about. The subject matter is entirely open: it may be personal, political, literary, artistic, cosmological, or indeterminate or decisively subject-free: there are no boundaries. It’s a space, hopefully, where practitioners will feel licenced to explore any aspect of their experiences as human beings, from any angle available to them.

No attempt to try and define here what prose is, considering that the enclosures already overlap, grain spills from the granaries, smells are constantly drifting in from over the horizon. Approximately speaking, though, it’s evident that many writers and artists feel the need, from time to time and at the right time, to step outside the structural imperatives of the artwork into more discursive forms of sense-making (this is an observation, not a manifesto). It’s likely that even the most recondite of workers experience an occasional urge to phone-out, with a view to establishing some form of biographical coherence, to clarify the nature of their existence as socially positioned entities. Of course, there’s nothing to say that this Outside may not in time, or immediately, be swallowed up by the Inside, assuming that the artwork has any edges in the first place.

Junction Box offers a space for poets, especially those working in the more innovative regions of the literary landscape to try things which they might not feel free to in more decorous or more thematically restrictive organs. Above all, it doesn’t aspire to respectability, plausibility or consistency of form or matter. Different writers will try different things, some critical, some fictive, some philosophical perhaps in an abstract sense, some more nakedly anecdotal, personal, polemical, reactive. Personally I think it’s all grist to the mill. For instance, I don’t see why the autobiographical and the anecdotal should be any kind of a lesser option, however much they’ve tended to be colonised by the boring. The first person singular – why not? And who better qualified than those who were at the funerals to celebrate the exploits of that unburiable trickster?

The non-poem of the poet, the non-artwork of the artist – especially of the less protocol-laden variety – has its own particular fascination. We want to know what practitioners talk about with that kind of language, which means, perhaps, that we want to know what they’ve been up to, who they are in that other kind of reality. (It’s obvious that such designations are extremely shaky: for some, the non-artwork may form an extension of the aesthetic object, for others a wholly different category of revelation).

The magazine will be very compact, with no more than twelve contributors for each issue. This first issue has tied itself to the Hay Poetry Jamboree, featuring some of the readers who appeared this year and some who have appeared in previous ones. Other issues will follow at irregular intervals, proper for a highly irregular magazine.

LINKS

The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry: www.gylphi.co.uk/poetry/index.php

Robert Sheppard (Pages): /www.robertsheppard.blogspot.com/

Junction Press (no relation to Junction Box) junctionpress.com/

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