Friday, 9 March 2018

STAND and Friends


Megan Fowler writes:
Stand and Friends gave the audience an intriguing insight into the magazine’s history – founded in 1952 by Jon Silkin who used his £5 redundancy money to create a magazine that would ‘Stand’ against injustice and for the role of poetry and fiction in this fight. Stand is now edited by Jon Glover, John Whale, and Elaine Glover, all of whom were at the event on Thursday.

There were multiple speakers at this event, many of whom were reading their own poetry. I found these poems particularly rewarding as – although we were warned not to ask what a poem is ‘about’ – the authors talked a little about each poem before they read it. It was wonderful to hear so many poems read by those who had written them.

Another highlight was the reading from the Chinese issue of Stand 15.1 which was published in 2017. These poems were read firstly in their translated English, and then in the original Chinese so the audience knew how they were meant to sound.

Copies of the most recent publication of Stand were available for sale at the end, and the quarterly magazine can also be subscribed to online at this link:

To keep up to date with Stand, follow them on their Facebook page @StandPoetryMagazine or on Twitter @Stand_poetry !

Jess Collins writes:
When Jon Glover (Managing Editor of Stand) welcomes us, he explains that Stand is about “handing on the business of writing and getting excited about it”. Knowing I was about to have some work shared with me, I was indeed excited. But sitting amongst such a small group of people, I underestimated the breadth of poetry that we were about to be faced with. You see, in the course of a just a few hours, we had gazed upon the planet Venus from Toronto Park, saw the world in our stomachs, looked upon some flowers, and got rudely woken up at Boddington Hall from people trying to sell a poetry magazine. It was great fun!

A highlight included some delightful readings of a couple of Chinese poems alongside their English translations (winners of a translation competition!). Luckily for my mono-lingual ears, the English translations were read before we got to hear the sounds of the original Chinese. It was nice to be reminded just how different poems can sound, how dynamic language and translation can be.

It being International Women’s Day at the time too, I have to mention Rachel Bower’s and Malika Booker’s readings. Each paid homage in their own styles to the woman’s war effort, mothers, and women in general wonderfully- if not simply by being excellent female performers.

The scope of Stand (and friends) is far-reaching, both within the poems they write and through the poets with which it associates. And I know at least, as I sit here with more knowledge about Stand and holding my first issue, that scope has gotten a little bigger.  

LitFest is very grateful to  Leeds University students Jess Collins and Megan Fowler for their support for this event - and for their opinion pieces. 

Audience Comments

A great evening of poetry. So generous of the LitFest to stage such events for free.
This event is so sweet.
Great reading, love the diversity of selections.
A great evening of reflection and optimism for the future. Thank you.
Great evening and discovered some poets I didn’t know. Thanks.
Thoroughly enjoyable evening – the range of speakers and pieces was fantastic, I particularly enjoyed the Chinese poetry and translations.
Very enjoyable event. Excellent venue. Interesting poetry from new and established poets.
Enjoyed the readings particularly the Chinese translations plus Rachel Bower.
It was very varied –the Chinese poems were fascinating and all the performers excellent.
It was extremely enjoyable. Such varied voices and poetry. Particularly enjoyed the Chinese poetry.
A wonderfully varied, but also coherent and complementary, set of readings.
Great, enjoyable event with such a variety of poetry. Thank you! 
A very enjoyable event, and on International Women’s Day, wonderful readings from the women. Inspiring stuff for me, a women who also aspires to make the woman’s voice heard in writing.
Engaging, the way anecdotes about Stand were woven through the evening, Personal highlights: Chinese language poems and translations. Rachel – Women of Steel and the postnatal poems and the Yarlswood poem. Whole event showed me that absolutely anything can inspire a poem.
Really enjoyed all of the readings and the history behind the magazine.
Great event – and enjoyed it immensely!
Good mix of poetry. Very interesting evening –learning about Stand mag. And hearing Stand poets.
Excellent evening. Wonderful variety of work and poets. Thoroughly enjoyable.
A lovely event with a good variety of readers. Thank you!

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