Qualm is a small uncompromising showcase for contemporary poetry in English, drawn from
a number of countries. It comes out twice a year, normally in April and October, and consists
of poems previously unpublished (on paper or net), contributed by their authors. Back numbers
remain available in full, under Previous. All poems are copyrighted to their authors,
whose books etc are detailed on the Writers page. The first Qualm appeared in 2003. This
27th Qualm, of October 2016, again takes a break from new contributions. Instead it is the
second of at least two groupings of the 'Best Of Qualm' - in which the editor puts
together (in no particular order) what he considers the best poems received over
the last thirteen years.
It's time perhaps for Qualm more clearly to show and even say what it stands for,
looks for, is here for. Intelligence, originality, accuracy of image, vitality of detail,
a tone particular to that writer, actual insights. Line sense and rhythm play, a poetic
surface tension kept up, absence of cliché and cliché of tone, derivativeness at
a healthy low. Surprisingness, difference. (Funniness and poignancy are good too.)
The poems in the two selections, whether written by people prominent or almost unknown,
exemplify all or most of these things (in diverse ways and tones and modes) and that's not
easily come by. Qualm is proud to have been the place of their first publication.
Qualm is edited by Sebastian Schloessingk (see
Obstilian.co.uk- renewed June 2016).