John Anstie

” Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast “
~ Playwright and Poet, William Congreve (1670-1729), in his 1697 play, ‘The Mourning Bride’.

A letter from John:

In asking for submissions of writing, poetry, art and even music itself for the Music themed October issue of The BeZine, I am conscious that the very subject of music leaves us with a huge scope. But if I am to offer any guidelines as to what you could think about in submitting work, it might be as follows.

My personal perspective on the value of poetry has some relevance here. It is a belief that poetry should always be one step removed from the obvious, the logical and rational, in order for it to awaken the right brain, the creative side of our amazing abilities as humans; to stimulate the visceral (as opposed to the purely intellectual, rational, ‘logical’) response. In turn, this has the potential to stimulate a fresh approach to solving the challenges, be they personal or global. This hits on the core mission of The BeZine in a big way.

But if poetry has this potential power to stimulate a new way of thinking outside the framework imposed by a culture of consumerism, greed and material comfort, as opposed to our social well-being, then music does so with a vengeance. It is truly visceral without the constraints of language. Of course, when the poetry of lyrics is introduced to create song, then there is the opportunity to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts; synergy. It can provide something that dwells in the conscious and even subconscious for a lifetime – whoever forgets the words and melody of a song that they heard at a very poignant moment in their lives, which continues to inhabit a special place in memory, resonate and invoke the most emotional response every time it is heard. Some might argue this is ‘just an over-emotional response’, but I would say that it could be, nay is a key to how we may bring humanity together.

So that may be the most long-winded, not to say ‘visceral’ guideline to what I’m thinking for this issue. But I hope if nothing else it helps to focus your thoughts, as if they needed to be focused in the first place!

As ever, there are no imposed constraints, if you can provide anything with a musical theme, be it an explanation in prose or poetry of why you love a particular piece or genre of music, or even and especially a link to your favourite song or symphony, aria or opera, concerto or cantata, please let us have it. It could also be a reason why, in some instances music, song, an anthem can be used against our interests, in shoring up a malevolent dictatorship, for example, or promoting anti-social behaviours. It could equally be a short history of folk music, which often tends to tell the stories of the downtrodden masses, or of unrequited love, or … your own story. All is relevant to the October’s theme.

There are, in my book of music, no boundaries to its variety and opportunity for new arrangements and collaborations that stand to provide us and future generations with food for love and peace and social justice and to sustain us all in that future. ”

Peace and love

THE BeZINE submissions for the October 2017 issue – themed Music – are open and the deadline is October 10thSend submissions to me [Jamie] at Publication is October 15th. Poetry, essays, fiction and creative nonfiction, art and photography, music (videos or essays), and whatever lends itself to online presentation is welcome for consideration. No demographic restrictions and submissions of work relative to our country and its history and culture are welcome. The more diverse the representation, the better. English only or accompanied by translation into English. Please check out a few issues first and the Intro/Mission Statement and Submission Guidelines. We do not publish anything that promotes hate or violence.  The lead for the October issue is Sheffield poet and musician, John Anstie (My Poetry Library and 42).

  • CALLING ALL POETS, WRITERS, ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS: We need your most passionate work on September 30 for The BeZine 100,000 Poets (and other artists and friends) for Change live online event.
  • Heads-up on the November zine: The theme is Hunger, Poverty and Working-class Slavery. Deadline: November 10. 

JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British writer, poet and musician –  a multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Singer, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer”. He has participated in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union as well as a being a ‘spoken-voice’ participant in Roger Allen Baut’s excellent ‘Blue Sky Highway‘ radio broadcasts. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of The Poetry Society (UK) and is one of the stellar team that comprises The Bardo Group Begines, publishers of The BeZine.

  • Sheffield in Harmony hosted by Hallmark of Harmony (Poet John Anstie’s group), October 7, 2017, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Firth Court. Firth Hall. Sheffield University. “Hallmark of Harmony’s annual production will showcase the considerable barbershop singing talent of our great city. We are proud to share the stage with Sheffield Harmony, who are among the leading female barbershop choruses in the UK. Moreover, this stellar lineup will be complemented by no less than UK champions and World Silver Medallist Mixed quartet, Hannah and the Hurricanes! This is going to be a phenomenal show.” Tickets HERE.

Here is an interview of John. I [Jamie] invite you to get to know him better:  Petrichor Rising and how the Twitterverse birthed friendships that in turn birthed a poetry collection

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