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of poems previously unpublished (on paper or net), contributed by their authors.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.
The Qualms of April and October 2016 were two groupings of the 'Best Of Qualm' - in which the
editor put together (in no particular order) what he considered the best poems received
over the previous thirteen years. It being 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.
Having now shown and even said, Qualm is going to take a breather, well deserved or not,
for this spring of 2017, and possibly this autumn too.
Qualm is edited by Sebastian Schloessingk (see
Obstilian.co.uk- renewed June 2016).