As ever, although labour intensive, it’s been a delight to put together this fifth edition of Coast to Coast to Coast. Though we set out with the ambition to limit poems to 20, the quality and diversity has resulted in an extended issue comprising the work of 24 poets – it’s a continuing joy to encounter so much poetry worthy of publication.
Referring to this as the fifth edition perhaps diminishes the numbers that tell other stories: since our beginning in August 2017 I’ve stitched over 600 journals, and 50 art pieces. The six months since our last journal has been particularly busy – in addition to being Artist-in-Residence at Aldeburgh in November, I created a litany (an issue of 200 prints), bringing together lines from 46 poets writing at and with the sea for Stitch Translations and exhibited 50 works born of this collaboration; stitched an edition of bespoke journals of beautiful elegies for Liverpool poet Jeffa Kay, selected two poets as winners for our second individual-poet competition (Lydia Harris and Isabel Bermudez), and stitched journals for Jane Lovell and Rebecca Gethin as winners of our first competition.
Though the time between journals has been the longest since our first launch, the activity of the past six months has further articulated the original vision – supporting our writers and bringing people together coast to coast to coast. Big thanks to all of those who support us and attend our events – in particular thanks to Pauline Rowe, Open Eye Gallery and Michael Allen for hospitality in Liverpool over this year.
It’s particularly exciting to return to the gallery for this winter 2018/2019 launch of three separate journals; in addition to work from established and new poets, those able to attend will have the pleasure of Jane Lovell’s arresting poetry from Forbidden, and vivid depictions of birds contained in Messages by Rebecca Gethin.
Over the next year Coast to Coast to Coast will continue to develop as was always intended: as a site of exploration between art and writing, a celebration of the printed poem and as collaborative exchange between diverse voices – at the heart of this is the creation of stitched journals, which will include developing projects with poets such as Maureen Boyle and John Glenday, as well as our continuing dedication to embracing art and poetry projects, such as taking Stitch Translations on tour. We are growing and travelling Coast to Coast to Coast physically as well as in word.
Liverpool, February 2019