Editor (purveyor of spelling mistakes)
So 2016 sucked, and 2017 doesn't look like it has much to offer so I thought I should at least start the year with some positivity... Good, got that over with.
Some thanks are in order:
1) My poetry person Thomas who has guided me through the confusing and frightening world of poetry and has his own ambitions, which you can read about below.
2) Everybody who submitted, it takes bravery to send your hard work to a stranger who might well not like it and I’m sorry to all those whose work hasn't appeared in this edition.
3) Abdulrahman for sending me our logo out of a clear blue sky. I love it cheers man. You can follow him on instagram here @al_abyad
4) NIO! The Italian rapper and general cool guy who provided us with our fantastic cover. Check him out at http://www.djnio.net or http://www.zeroplastica.com
5) Lastly, I’d like to thank the Spoken Word Istanbul community and its organiser Merve Pehlivan for creating such fertile ground for this humble publication to grow out of. Long may words be shared!
Moving forward. So I’ve been very happy with the support the Bosphorus Review has received and the interest that people have shown in it. I was quite worried that I would ask for submissions and would receive a horrible silence from the internet but I didn't and I am going to move forward in some different ways.
1) Flash fiction: we have received a lot of flash fiction, more than I was expecting. That's great. At the moment we don't have enough fiction to do a separate flash section but if we get more I’d love to do a dedicated flash fiction column.
2) Reviews: astute readers will notice that there aren’t many reviews in The Bosphorus … Review of Books that's mostly down to me not having the time/ skill/ money/ pile of review copy hard backs (hint hint major publishing companies) to do that. However I’m going to be launching the next edition with a why you should read section where our fantastic contributors will try to convince you to read their favourite poet, novel, comic book, or something that I’ve not even heard of yet. I’m excited and I hope you will be too.
3) Keep going. I hope to be able to keep getting amazing submissions, so we can make a second edition. We’ve already had a lot of interest from poets and I’m hoping that the short story writers are all just a bit shy. We plan to publish every other month and if after six months it’s still going strong we might consider bumping it up to monthly.
4) Sleep, yeh I think I have some time for that next week…
Thanks for reading my little editorial and the fantastic work of the magazine's contributors. I wish you all a happy 2017.
Here’s to starting the New Year the only way it should be started… with poetry and literature. I’m incredibly excited and humbled to have this opportunity. Mostly, I’m just happy to be able to bring another, and hopefully soon to be indispensable, cultural institution to this city we all love so much.
There is however the question of “What the hell exactly is poetry?” “How do you define the limits of it? My own personal working definition is that is an art of words that seeking to express something that is ineffable by other means. With that very wide definition, we will be making no preferences for one genre or theme. I, as a person, of course, have my own preferences, however I am dedicated to publishing even works I do not subjectively like, when I can tell that they are objectively worthy of publication. What I find truly important here is to be able to provide a space, even be it digital, for amateur poets to publish their work and build up their resume. Both Luke and I are intimately familiar with how difficult the publishing world can be out there for starting writers. If you don’t believe this, feel free to hunt us down and have a personal conversation. However, I hope you do not mind the sight of a grown man breaking down in tears…
Furthermore, I would like this space for amateur writers to extend beyond just that of perfect English speakers. The Anglophone world is notoriously monolinguistic, and unfortunately too much literature in English reflects this by being encased in an echo vacuum. Even with the growth of World Literature and overtures to incorporate other literatures into English translation, we are still a far cry from where we should be. I, myself, only came to love poetry through the very roundabout way of reading Arabic poetry in the original and attempting to translate it, before I realized I needed to strengthen my own poetry skills. That is a very long-winded way of saying I want to use my Arabic and Turkish skills to highlight the brilliant potential of Arabic and Turkish writers and poets in this city. The Turkish tradition of literature and poetry is a very deep and rich one, as is that of the Arab one. Seeing as how I would like for our humble magazine to at least be somewhat connected to the heart of the city and what goes on it, it is only fair that Arabic literature too have its place within these digital pages.
In conclusion, if you have made this far, thank you. You are a cool person and should feel awesome about yourself. Once more, I look forward to watching the growth of our magazine, providing a space for amateur English, Arabic and Turkish poets, and giving back to this city that has had as rough a 2016 as anyone. Long live poetry and Happy New Years!