Founder-editor Gerry Cambridge’s account of the first twenty years of The Dark Horse is full of wry and, at times, contrarian asides on the nature of the contemporary poetry scene. His anecdotes and ‘divagations’ invoke such names as Wendy Cope, Dana Gioia, Anne Stevenson, Seamus Heaney, Kay Ryan and Douglas Dunn, to name but few.
To open this handsome 184-page volume (250mm x 165mm) is to enter the world of the ‘little magazine’—that distinguished genre which, as Cambridge writes, ‘has the charm of all hopeless enterprises undertaken against the odds.’
Illustrations include photographs and letters, as well as 52 full colour plates showing changes in jacket design over two decades.
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Gerry Cambridge is a Scottish poet, essayist, and editor with substantial interest in print design and typography.
‘If you can crest the wave of exposure to all this submitted work, to arrive at what is good and bad in it, it can make you more discerning in your own poetry. Practically, too, managing a poetic life as an editor—I hesitate to say ‘career’ where poetry is concerned, unless one is using it as a verb as well as a noun—takes a judicious degree of balancing. You have to make sure the poet-identity is not subsumed by the editor-identity, and that neither you nor the journal is compromised by poetry-politicking with the aim of using connections. It would possible to do a good deal of that if you were so-minded ...’