Issue 1: Blue
Blue is an interesting colour, with many different shades: midnight blue, navy blue, royal blue, sky blue, baby blue, ice blue and so on, all with their own characteristics and symbolism. One can feel blue on sadder days but can be a colour of tranquility too. Is there anything better than the colour of the sky on a bright summer’s day? That type of blue is one happy colour! Blue is a symbolic colour in semitic religions: in Christianity it is associated with the Virgin Mary and in Judaism, it was a most prized colour, which some believe cannot be created anymore. Mixing blue with other colours can give interesting warmer shades like teal, turquoise, aquamarine, indigo and violet.
We had poems and prose sent in from new writers and very well-established writers, which made choosing only one poem and one piece of prose extremely difficult. When it came to choosing, both pieces had the sadness of blue piercing through them.
June Caldwell is the Featured Prose Writer with Sub Terrestrial, a short, punchy and aggressive piece where the colour blue is the colour of fear. We often see blood as red, but before it comes to the surface, it is supposed to be blue. The image of blue comes up several times and June’s style of writing keeps the reader holding their breath, almost to the point of turning blue. Read the story here.
We had a large number of poems to go through and there were some poems that would happily sit in any anthology and to pick just one was always going to be difficult. However, when it came down to it, Stephanie Conn’s Releasing Pale Blue Balloons, a heart-breaking poem about loss and remembering loss clenched my whole body. There’s an anthology called “Poems to Make Grown Men Cry” and this would have fitted into it easily. Read the poem here.