Reviewing new literary magazines should become a habit for this blog. There’s something incredibly contagious about a new editor’s enthusiasm, and the confidence in the stories and poems they present to the world just screams ‘Read this! We created an entire magazine just for these words!’
You Stumble Into A Room Full Of Poets is a slight magazine at 20 pages, but it’s a beautiful one, with an elegant cover and pages hand bound with thread. The magazine is based in London and according to the editor’s note it ‘brings forth collective writings from the four corners of the metropolis’. For this first issue, the collective writings comprise eight poems surrounding a single short story. The pieces are universal; it’s not a London magazine in the sense of being about London, but rather a glance into the mind of the city.
And in the mind of the city, there are some interesting thoughts. The first stanza of What the Bonfire Said by Robert Greer:
Today the pastors set their cards
To yesterday’s flammable cause
The letters dispersed slowly
Deuteronomy columns rose
Or this, from the first paragraph of the short story The Lost by J.E. Sherwood:
Around here, it’s different somehow. Like a gap in time where everything’s still. Like a thought upon a glass lake, but not a good thought. Just an inertness with the tenacity of angry elderly.
That last is not really representative of what is actually quite a narrative story, but what it is representative of is the quality of the writing. It’s bloody good stuff. It’s also bloody good stuff that I typed up by hand rather than pasting from somewhere else — You Stumble Into A Room Full Of Poets doesn’t have a website, or an e-book version. It probably came across its email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) by accident. It’s a wilfully tactile and analogue magazine. I hope keeps up the quality through into issue two.
I have no idea where you can buy You Stumble Into A Room Full Of Poets, but I will update this post once I do. In the meantime, go ahead and bother the editor at the address above.