Blast: Poetry and other critical writing, issue 4
$10 pb, 56 pp
The production of literary magazines is a collaborative effort, and small ones tend to bring together people who are united in an enthusiasm that transcends financial aspiration. Translated, this means there is no money in it. The editorial notes for the rejuvenated Blast reveal what seems to be a family affair at work: the publisher–editor is Ann Nugent, and the person responsible for design and layout is Peta Nugent. Issues 4 and 5 appeared for review, but I have concentrated here on the first of these.
In the late 1990s, when I was in Canberra, the Blast I knew was driven by the prolific Craig Cormick. The latest version of the magazine is a crisp little publication, with production values that are modest but impressive. Its clean typeface is reminiscent of some of the 1970s small magazines, and its slim margins are redolent of the economies of the same period. Issue 4 features poets such as Philip Salom, Leon Trainor, Michael Sharkey, Alex Skovron, Diane Fahey, Kevin Brophy and Graham Rowlands. Issue 5 includes Anthony Lawrence, John Millett, Jan Owen and Geoff Page, so there is no shortage of well-known Australian poets.