A link to this article was shared onine by by Martin Malone former editor of Interpreter’s House which pre Martin I helped survive as a paper edition by creating a basic website.
The price of progress is that the magazine now now exists only online.

The article by Wendy Pratt of SPELT magazine

available to read here:

My response in comments as follows:

I agree totally with your comments above although I have seen a lot of poor quality work riding on the coat-tails of the ‘so-called’ working class writing revolution which more a Bookseller PR stunt than actuality. The print medium died the day Oxford University Press tipped its lead type into the Thames or is that urban myth based on link below? (there is an eco-poem if ever there was one perhaps I should write it).


It ended in early 1990s when a press I represented by actually hand set a poem of mine (I will find and share on my blog) in lead type. They had one of the last machines for creating type and a man came to mend it He was the last of the generation that had knowledge to mend them. The knowledge died with them.

A decade later I helped Oxford University convert ALL paper based Science publishing acquisition to computers and then a whole College’s library. Digital hit hard around the Millennium and since then a younger generation have developed entirely new habits of consumption, dissemination and interaction. Paper unless sold as anachronistic fetish object ( works for Vinyl records) is to all intents and purpose dead as a piece of type in muddy water. So forgetting the argument that internet is green (it is not the servers and electric generation to fuel it alone cost a few rain forests). Where do we go now?

Substack a good choice. I suggest you read the Jazz critic Ted Gioia (brother of poet Dana Gioia) he very cutting edge on where we are now and it isn’t good news.


Your magazine looks great but it also looks like something I would have shelved at Poetry Library in 1990 (I been around that long). As for getting your messages across I returned to ‘the poetry world’ or rather the blizzard of new ‘worlds’ each tightly regimented and screened online (or paper) come to that. This is not because all magazines now are nepotistic (though a good few are or class interest based) but simply because the numbers now are frightening. Like music anybody with a phone and half a brain can be a poet if they want to (before AI made it even easier to simulate poetry) .

I grew up in an era of clearly defined gatekeepers ( Faber, Cape, Bloodaxe etc) which on the whole male dominated yes but because numbers far lower and generally standards higher it was easier to at least work out one’s place in the (singular) poetry world. Post world-wide web that no longer possible one has to find a nest that suits and defend your interests whatever your politics from that lonely tower as global capitalism basically runs riot below.

As a white (working class whatever that means these days and frankly in some cases not much) male aged 65 trying to re-enter the worlds (plural) I on a hiding to nothing and add fact that I been writing about the environment for nigh on 40 years it appears I am now almost unpublishable going by feedback I had so far. The reasons for that are generational (ageism) political (sexism) and demographic as I do not read or wish to engage with certain class ridden circles or even some younger circles of interest any more than they do me.

So Substack is a potential rabbit hole to another wonderland. It does work but if you enter this domain be prepared to post daily to make it work and engage followers and also to engage directly with thorny issues of political activism if talking Green we are no longer in village fete friends of earth stage we are in defined as eco-terrorism (pace Edward Abbey) territory now. Truly engage and it may be that Spelt finds a new niche.. paper is not dead its just not printed on any more..

Out of frustration I took a new tack towards ECO and Poetry on my substack is a long job but it seems to engage people far more than straight poetry offering. You may find of interest.

We are in for stormy weather 


My old style words on a screen and very occasionally a page although less so in the last 20 years than before here.

A lot self-published because I an early adopter and specialist in multimedia. I find the fetishism apparent in the ‘self-publishing’ wrong attitude symptomatic of those who should know better slamming the stable door shut after the horse not only bolted but also shot dead…..

It generally white middle class that promulgate that attitude of ‘I don’t want my poems online’ because they dream of standing in a bookshop with that object in their hand feeling pleased with themselves along with the other 5000 recently cheaply published (thanks to digitisation of the production line) authors feeling the same ..
It is complete nonsense.

I look forward to the podcast…..they are hard work….I ran a music one for a year.