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Orbis 207, Spring 2024

Front cover artwork : ‘Bird House Mosaic ‘ by Sharon Cummings;
Back cover, detail from image:


What a beautiful looking edition ! Must get this. 
Congratulations on the magazine’s longevity and high standards

  (Anna Saunders, Director at Cheltenham Poetry Festival)

Orbis 200: ‘All the best to you, and to Orbis!’
(Glyn Maxwell; shortlisted for Best Collection in the Forward Prize)

‘Best wishes for the journal – and congratulations on such a successful magazine over the years’ (Joy Harjo, United States Poet Laureate)


Single issue: £6.00 (Overseas: £12/€14/$16); Subs: £20/4 pa (Overseas: £45/€50/$60)

Associate Editor (Book Reviews): Maria Isakova-Bennett

Reviews by: Reviews by: Philip Dunkerley; David Harmer; Jenny Hockey  
D.A.Prince; Pauline Rowe; Theresa Sowerby; Pam Thompson

Please note with new collections, press release in first instance – not review copies.


You know what they say, never judge a book by its cover:
same goes for this issue because it should of course be Spring, not Summer…
It’s enough to make you Howl, isn’t it, Rosie (Adamson-Clark),
and not as if it were a question of being Undecided, like Edward Lee,
or worse still, a matter of Indifference (Niels Hammer). No,
the magazine may lack Andrew Barnes’s Eight thousand layers of in-yun
but it should be what Özge Lena calls a A Thing of Beauty.
After all, plenty to fascinate readers, as Tina Cole explains
How to Reconstruct Female Ancestors, Barry Smith serves up a
description of The Wild Garlic At Shorwell, and Sarah Sibley
relates the tale about Barbara Bryde, The First To Get Satellite.
And you’re sure to want to know more from Marcia Gamsu:
When I was a child I asked why I asked why.
And at least Orbis 207 is actually full of the joys of Spring…

Featured Writer

Tanya Nightingale: The Terror; The Baby Carriage; Life Grew For Grandpa;
Volcanology; Entropy; Echo and Narcissus

Poems from Özge Lena (Mussels); Emmaline O’Dowd (The daily round);
Francesca Pridham (He came to them, walking on the water);
Gareth Roberts (John Ever-Afraid); Luke Sawczak (Spring Haiku);
Sam Smith (Low shouting); Martha Stainsby (What The Metaphysician Said)

Prose from Charlotte Gringras (An Element of Surprise);
Denise McSheehy (Parallel Lives);
David McVey (When The No. 25 Didn’t Turn Up)

Translation Stephen Capus, A Fragment by Miklós Radnóti

Past Master: Lindy Newns on Amy Lowell

Orbis 207 Contributors also include
David Ball; Fred Beake; Stephen Bett; Cindy Botha;
Lorraine Caputo; Laura A. Ciraolo; Nick Conrad; Nigel Crisp;
Gail Dendy; Malc Fritchley; Alice Harrison; Graham High; Sean Howard;
Jenny King; Craig Kurtz; Patricia Leighton; Paul Murphy; Patrick Osada;
Geoffrey Winch; Susan Wismer; Mary Anne Woolf


April 26, Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed for Writebase:



A magical and meaningful production which draws out so many parallels with life today, 80 years on, there are nearly as many lines as those spoken by the excellent cast. In other words, so many lessons to be learned in this iconic tale of animals taking over. Near as damnit, the lunatics running the asylum, with their delusional ideas and grandiose so-called victories.

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Fascinating Aîda

Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

February 1, reviewed for Writebase:



Who says women of a certain age are invisible? Three cheers for the ever glamorous, and indeed, downright sexy (not sure I’m permitted to say that, but damn sure they wouldn’t object) Fascinating Aîda, who not only make their presence felt but are so in your face you can see the whites of their eyes as the sweetest of harmonies deliver vitriol in the sharpest of points; a fabled, and fabulous, iron fist in a velvet glove. And you needn’t think the audience is full of, shall we say, women in their prime either because

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French House Party

Creative Writing Course, Carcassonne, Southern France

June 20-26

Pen &Think: Tutored Retreat

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October 19-23

War of the Worlds

Reviewed for North West End:



What a tangled web we weave, especially these days when the Internet ensures all kinds of information reach the parts that other sources can’t get to. Fake news can make people belligerent or else scare them out of their wits, just as it did with the broadcast of ‘War of the Worlds’ years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

October 12-16

Dracula: The Untold Story
imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse

Adapted and directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks


Reviewed for North West End:


The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and here we are on Route 66 (or should that be 666?), since that’s their year (read on…), and a young lady has just walked into a police station to confess to murder. But she says her name is Mina Harker…

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July 17- August 30

Pride And Prejudice

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Reviewed for Writebase:



It is a truth universally acknowledged – that you absolutely do not need to open with such a well known quote, or variations thereof, even if it establishes that most people know what you are talking about, and a plot summary is not required. Nor that such a familiar tale couldn’t prove damn’d tricky to be given enough of a spin to sprinkle it with stardust and make it fresh and original. It succeeds wonderfully.

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August 19-30

Jungle Book

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

Reviewed for Writebase:




They say the sun shines on the righteous, so here, only right that the forecast of rain was incorrect – though it became a biblical outpouring almost as soon as this swinging performance finished. Read the rest of this entry »


January 26
Ó Bhéal Five Words Competition

Weekly closing date each Tuesday at noon
Must feature the five words given for the week

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