Title: Manifold - magazine of new poetry

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Over 40 pages of poems, book and exhibition reviews.

Issue 49, Editorial

When I began work on this issue last November, I envisaged the usual ‘seasonal’ mix for winter-into-spring: Chinese New Year, love poems for St Valentine's day, Welsh and Irish allusions, Mothering Sunday, National Science Week (with this year a focus on Einstein and relativity), World Poetry Day, Easter, Shakepeare's Birthday... Then, too, one needed material to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Hitler's death-camps... whether one marks this UK-style in late January, or in April as elsewhere worldwide. Plus, of course, other poetic goodies, not timed to the passing moment! But, on the whole, a fairly routine issue, before devising something special for No.50.

Alas, the scheme of mice, men — and editors — the last few months have been anything but routine. As some of you may know, my own literary work has been predominantly as a translator of Ukrainian and Belarusian literature, and a few years ago, the Ukrainian Writers' Union gave me their top award open to non-Ukrainian citizens — the Ivan Franko Prize. So when, in December, the Ukrainian Constitutional Court decreed a rerun of the Presidential election, and the call went out for international monitors, I felt, shall we say, a certain obligation to volunteer... Then, on the very day of the election — and sharing the world’s headlines with it, came the tsunami... which also clearly needed to be marked by Manifold.

Unfortunately, I was hardly back from Ukraine when Manifold suffered another major computer failure... The ailing machine was, eventually, patched up, but will surely soon have to be retired to backup word-processing duties only... Then, as tends to happen when one is running late, further delays built up — a bang on the head left me with weeks of persistent headaches ( luckily, no lasting damage, the doctors say!), our student helpers were overwhelmed with dissertations and the imminence of ‘finals’... And then in April came the death of the poet who wrote under the pseudonym of ‘Andrzej Jawien’ — otherwise Pope John Paul II— who, as the worldwide tributes from people of every faith and none has made eminently clear, will surely be remembered as one of the most charismatic and influential figures of his time, even if sometimes even members of his own flock to ok issue with certain of his pronouncements. Again an event which should not go unrecognized!

So, this has been very much a season of floods, real and metaphorical — tsunamis in Southeast Asia, a torrent of ‘orange’ protests in Ukraine, a deluge of pilgrims descending on Rome — and, of course, the usual ‘sea of troubles’ which seems endemic to Manifold (and, perhaps to all poetry magazines — see Letters page). As a result, No.49, originally scheduled as a winter/early spring issue could go to press only in late May. Still, at last... Après les deluges— nous!