Alex Allen, Zelda Chappel, Elinor Clark, Rachael Clyne, Sarah L Dixon, Josh Ekroy, Louise Essex, Elizabeth Gibson, Lydia Harris, Charlotte Heather, Kate Hendry, Robin Houghton, Callum James, L Kiew, Yessica Klein, Poppy Kleiser, Charlotte Knight, Allison LaSorda, Hannah Linden, Holly Magill, Elizabeth Mann, Nuala Motel-Casey, C.P. Nield, Pey Oh, Anita Pati, Constantin Preda, Kevin Reid, Jenny Robb, Finola Scott, Sarah Tait, William Thompson, Cathy Whittaker, Jane Wilkinson, Mark Wynne
Anna de Vaul, Andrew McDonnell, Natty Peterkin, Helen Rye, Jo Surzyn, Julia Webb
It’s been a while between issues. It’s been an odd kind of year. It’s been scary. It’s been claustrophobic. It’s been lonely. It’s been boring. It’s been hard work. It’s been repetitive. It’s been relaxing. It’s been stressful. It’s been depressing. It’s been awful. It’s been revealing. It’s been difficult. It’s been tense. It’s been contentious. It’s been harrowing. It’s been joyful. It’s been unfair. It’s been divisive. It’s been supportive. It’s been quiet. It’s been noisy. It’s been too long. It’s been all these things and way, way more. And, it’s been an odd time for Lighthouse – our editors are spread out globally – one of them was completely displaced during lockdown – having left her base in China, she in effect found herself homeless – spending several months in UK, then in Europe and is now back in the USA with no news on when she can return to her flat in China. One of us was given notice to quit the house they had lived in for over 20 years – finding a rental property in a pandemic (and during lock down) proved very difficult. Several of us had Covid – luckily all have recovered. All of us were working mostly from home. Some of us have children. Some of us were home schooling. Some of us were supporting grown up children or other family members with health or mental health issues. Some of us had health issues ourselves. All of us were missing our friends and family. Some of us lost friends or family. Some of us were studying. Some of us were writing. Some of us were not writing but wishing we were. Some of us changed direction. Some of us learned new skills. Along the way we lost an editor – Adam – who will be missed and we wish him well with whatever he does next. His contributions to the poetry team over the past few years have been invaluable. We have also lost Andrew as steering editor – it was Andrew who planted the first seeds of Lighthouse and watched them grow. Andrew will be concentrating on nurturing Gatehouse poetry collections. As you will discover this is a poetry heavy issue – in part because our over-worked prose team needed a break, but also because we wanted to give a bit of space to writing from/about the pandemic. We didn’t want to make it a lockdown issue but you will find some writing in here that directly or indirectly relates to it. You will also find poems that don’t relate to it at all. We also decided to put work by the editors in the features so that you can see the kind of things we do.
Editors are generally pretty faceless but we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t writers ourselves. We thought it might be interesting for our readers and contributors to see the kind of things we write. We have never done this before and we will probably never do it again.
Jo and I spent hours deciding the final order so that it would take you on a journey. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.
Julia Webb, Steering Editor, May 2021
Lighthouse Cover Feature
Each issue we publish a poem or piece of flash fiction of no more than 10 lines.
Last week I forgot
which country I lived in
and could only name the rivers
and lakes among which
a city stood still
here everything is temporary
your life merely
tolerated by the flocks
of water birds.