Presence turns 50

I have spent the past week dipping in and out of the new issue of Presence, a print haiku journal from Britain that was, until his tragic death in April, edited by Martin Lucas.

Matthew Paul and Ian Storr, who have picked up the editorial reins, say in their editorial: “Since so few non-publicly-funded poetry magazines have the kind of longevity that Presence has had, this was to have been a celebratory issue. Martin’s sudden death has cast a dark shadow over what has undoubtedly been one of his major achievements, bringing Presence into existence and developing it into its current position as one of the world’s leading English-language haiku magazines.”

Presence is to continue – Matthew, Ian and Stuart Quine (who rejoins) form the editorial team with Chris Boultwood continuing as webmaster. Read submission and subscription details here.

Issue 50 features a lovely shot of Martin on the cover, contains an obituary for him, plus two articles and two book reviews by him. Despite all the upheaval and grief, the editors have produced a volume of which, I’m sure, Martin would be proud.

uncut meadow
the sun sets
in a rabbit’s ears

– Matthew Morden

where the sun shines
a loose school
of fingerlings

– Greg Piko

There are several works dedicated to Martin and of the two haiku of mine in the journal is this one that, although I didn’t say so, is in memory of Martin, a hugely talented, kind and downright top bloke with a dry sense of humour. (In case you don’t know, birdwatching was one of Martin’s favourite things.)

bleak morning –
the brisk chatter of godwits
turning for home

– Sandra Simpson