Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poetic Licence (1982 - 1985) (Teesside's first Poetry Mag since the 19thC)

Poetic Licence (1982 - 85) 

About Poetic Licence
Poetic Licence was the brainchild of Ann Wainwright and Pamela Hutson in 1982 and was the first poetry / literary magazine in the area since the production of  George Markham Tweddell's Yorkshire Miscellany and North Yorkshire Tractates and Joseph Richardson's Literary Pilot in the 19thC, as far as I know.

Ann Wainwright and Pamela Hutson
While studying Literature at Teesside Polytech in 1981 and writing poetry, Ann discovered there was a need for such a magazine in the area. Pamela had returned to Billingham after completing her degree in Sheffield and the two set about creating a monthly magazine called Poetic Licence. Initially the contributions came from Ann's connection at the Poly and from members of Teesside Poly's Multi Media Society Poetry and Music workshop run by Trev Teasdel and Dave Wood along with contributions that came via flyers, posters, local press and radio appearances. The magazine proved a huge hit with contributions from all age groups in the area.

Poet John Saunders judged  Poetic
Licence Poetry Competitions
The editorial policy different to the mainstream poetry journals in that they didn't 'judge' the poetry but sought, as far as space would permit, to be representative of what was coming out of the area and give a voice to it. The magazine also carried information on related activities in the area and graphics, mostly supplied by Ann and Pamela and, among others, a local lad Brian Gee who later contributed graphics to Outlet Magazine..

Soon Pamela Hutson moved on and became a co-editor of Voice of the North, introducing a poetry section to Kevin Daws magazine and Ann Wainwright went on to develop Poetic Licence in the various ways we can see below.

Press / Radio and Publicity
Ann and Pamela initially got quite a bit of press coverage in the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette and in the
Mike Hollingworth - centre
Northern Echo (cuttings can be seen on here) and both were on Radio Tees in Stockton a few times (one of the broadcasts can be heard here below). It was Radio Cleveland's Housecall programme, presented by Mike Hollingworth that played host the magazine's monthly competitions. Ann would give a theme each issue and John Saunders, Head of Leeds University Adult Education centre in Middlesbrough (and a poet himself) judged the competition and Mike Hollingworth would read out the poems on Housecall and offer prizes to the winners - usually a book token.

Evening Gazette - Middlesbrough 
Original Photo

The Radio Tees (Stockton) interviews 1982 

Ann Wainwright and Pamela Hutson talking about Poetic Licence and reading some of  the winning entries on Radio Tees Spectrum Programme, Stockton 1982. Several broadcasts merged together in the video. 

Children's Poetry and Asian Poetry
Stan Laundon with Ishfaq Ahmed (Ashy)
From Stan Laundon's history of
 BBC Radio Cleveland
Ann Wainwright pioneered encouraging both Childrens and Asian writing on Teesside, later taken up via Ishfaq Ahmed (Ashy), editor of Radio Cleveland's Asian network publicised Poetic Licence on his programme.
Outlet magazine and Write Around.

Poetic Licence Collective - 1) Digester
Soon Poetic Licence developed in many other directions. It soon became a popular part of the National and
International Small Press Network, mixing work from Teesside alongside contributions from some of the popular poets from the small presses and gaining a growing reputation in many of those magazines.

It was at this stage that Ann created the periodic Poetic Licence Digester to promote these magazines and chapbooks. In this folded A4 sheet, Ann would review some of the main magazines. The full Digesters will be posted at the bottom of this post.

2) Chapbooks and Anthologies
Ann Wainwright produced a number of anthologies on a theme. The theme was advertised in Poetic Licence and work was chosen from the entries for a special anthology. The theme of  Love was one such anthology. Ann also produced chapbooks for poets whose work merited a special collection, including Clown in the Garden by John Saunders (Middlesbrough), Seasons and Sincerity - Sara Newby (Darlington), Now and Then - Peter Fairclough (Yarm), Love is a Glove - Linda French (Billingham), Pictures at an Exhibition - Peter Hanks. Where is the Heart / Pot Pourri / Tomorrow Sing - all by Ethel Robinson. Germinal - Anthony ClooneyEscaped Poet and Poet Reprobate - Trev Teasdel, Orange Aid - Ann Wainwright. Pictures of the anthologies and chapbooks below.

(3) Offshoots

Station Identification

Ann also started a 2nd magazine later in 1982 to cater for the more avant garde contribution - poetry, stories, articles and graphics. More on this in a separate post on here.

The Castalians - Teaming up with Colin Walker and Trev Teasdel a poetry, music performance venue was created at the Dovecot Arts Centre, Stockton in May 1982 for some of the contributors to Poetic Licence  and Teesside Poly Multi-Media Society and anyone in the area. By 1984, it was re-branded The New Poetry Scene with a different format and ran until 1985. More on this in a separate post.

Poetic Licence folded after 1985 when Ann moved to Hull but was briefly revived in a new form in early 1990's as a broadsheet and Ann also had a new chapbook of her poetry published and produced a series of  poetry cards. Ann was also later involved in co-organising the Merlin's Cauldron Arts Festival and the 2nd phase of the Writers Cafe at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton, both with Trev Teasdel and co-organisers.

Poetic Licence in 1990's

Poetry Cards

No comments:

Post a Comment