A Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

It’s a pleasure to welcome you to our thirtieth issue. When we’re putting StepAway together the poetry we publish often seems to select itself. Common themes emerge rapidly, and the poems begin to fit together, forming, almost magically, an issue that is unique in character. With urban observation at its core, this issue has a preoccupation with strangers, trains, the nocturnal city, Paris, and urban wildlife. The issue also wanders delightfully – “On the first day (of the rest of our lives)” by Julie Hogg, evokes a train journey through Durham, alighting at Newcastle (the home of StepAway Magazine) but it is not long before we are whisked elsewhere, walking the streets of Gettysburg at night in Breanna DeSimone’s poem “Ghost Town”.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our contributors: Francis Bede, Dmitry Blizniuk, James Cole, Ryan J. Davidson, Breanna DeSimone, Aine Dilleen, Julie Hogg, Andrea Mbarushimana, Eva Michely, Michael T. Smith and Gerard Smyth

I would also like to mention how pleasing it is to publish the thirtieth issue of StepAway. In March 2011, I had very little idea how our first issue would be received. I certainly did not expect that over the course of thirty issues, StepAway would win a Walking Visionaries Award in Vienna, and collaborate with Durham University, The University of Westminster and Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts amongst others. The launch of Voicewalks at Durham Book Festival which included a reading of a commissioned piece by renowned writer and pioneer of British psychogeography, Iain Sinclair proved to be one of many of my career highlights.

I am eager to develop StepAway further, particularly in terms of using the message of the magazine to encourage others to look up from their mobile phones to observe and draw creative inspiration from the world around them. And, of course, the publication of a further thirty issues (or more!) is certainly not out of the question.

I would like to dedicate this issue to my mother-in-law, Galina, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year.

Yours faithfully,

Darren Richard Carlaw