I'm starting this series with a poet currently based in Northern Ireland, Sophie Collins. Sophie edits the journaltender, and she's writing a dissertation on translation at Queen's in Belfast. I wrote to her out of the blue when I read a few of her poems on The Lifeboat, the webpage for a reading series in Belfast.
Sophie, to start, could you tell me a little about your magazine tender, which you edit with Rachael Allen? How it came about, what kinds of poets you hope to feature?
I recently wrote a blurb for tender, so I'll paste this in: tender—'a quarterly journal made by women'—is an online platform promoting work by female-identified writers and artists.
Writing has nothing to do with signifying. It has to do with surveying, mapping, even realms that are yet to come. — Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus 4-5
The aesthetic, pedagogical, and political focus of this series of commentaries is a set of documents we call counter-maps. The term comes from critical cartographer Denis Wood, who provides a lineage that includes early twentieth-century map art, the mental maps movement of the 1960s, Indigenous and bioregional mapping, and the traditions of Parish Mapping. For Wood, “[I]t is counter-mapping that shows us where mapping is heading” (111).
Our contention here is that counter-maps also suggest a direction poetry may take in the digitally driven, multimedia information economy that pervades all aspects of 21st-century collective creative life. In this series of commentaries, our examples, both pre- and post-1995, come from a handful of subgenres—tactical, forensic, locative, cognitive, and ecological counter-mapping—that mix the graphic syntax of cartography, the rhythmic patterns of language, and an urgent interrogation of the processes and institutions of global capitalism.