September 17, 2011
One cool thing about Anon is its format, which is reminicent of those old Penguin Classic paperbacks. The other is its completely anonymous submissions process.
The editors do not know the names of the poets whose work they are considering — and they never know the names of the poets they are rejecting. As the Anon tagline proudly proclaims it, “We don’t care who you aren’t…”
I submitted a few poems to the magazine last year, including one poem I’d written in Alaska over a dozen years before called “Midnight Sun.” The poem got picked and appeared in Anon 7.
Here’s what one reviewer, writing in the journal Sabotage, said about that issue of Anon:
“Anon Seven is an effervescent production, its poems spanning the world: from Dave Coates’ transfigured, strangely threatening ‘Leith’ (on the magazine’s doorstep, since Anon is produced in Edinburgh), to the detailed, tender surveillance of Lake Illiamna, Alaska, which Scott Edward Anderson undertakes in ‘Midnight Sun’. Its strengths lie in variety, and particularly in the sheer invention and craft of certain poems – sometimes, even, of especially successful lines, such as the opening of Richard Moorhead’s ‘I Shot A Bird’, which breaks upon the reader with a brash insistence that ‘Everyone should try some killing’.”
Here is my poem, “Midnight Sun”:
at approximately 59° 45′ N Latitude, 154° 55′ W Longitude
I watch the sun set
over Lake Illiamna
through the willows.
the names of willows:
Bebb and Scouler,
feltleaf, arctic, undergreen—
names ill-suited for their frail appearance.
And how palpable the story,
told by the black-capped chickadee
about the four bears who come
each night to the village,
linger for a couple of hours,
As the bird now vanishes
from atop the satellite dish
outside the room at Gram’s B&B.
He leaves behind
a white remembrance,
which disturbs the signal
coming from Anchorage,
interrupting a program about
the formation of the Hawaiian Islands,
and sending ripples of multi-colored “snow”
swirling into TV screen volcanoes.
While back outside,
midsummer sun barely sets on the village,
angling over sparse willows
and spruce, bentgrass and sweetgale,
perhaps twinflower, although
verifying the presence of that species
may require a second look.
A second look, which the sun
will suggest, upon its return
four and one-half hours from now.
That is when the BLM surveyors arrive
on their ATVs (whatever the weather
and whether they’re foolish or clever),
to verify yesterday’s measurements,
as they do each morning,
in this village of willows
and midnight sun.
–Scott Edward Anderson
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