Sam Smith Original Plus books & The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry')

Sam Smith books plus Original Plus publications and The Journal

The Journal

'...plenty of different styles of poetry in each issue. The result is that, whilst The Journal will never have that sense of comforting familiarity that some 'zine have developed, it will always stretch your boundaries.' The Supplement #73

' international magazine in the tradition of Poesie Europe, Ecuatorial, and Labrys. It publishes poems in English, in particular by English-language poets in exile, translations into English alongside the originals, interviews with poets, and appraisals of current poetry scenes...' Wolfgang Görtschacher 

'A plainly elegant layout, making the most of its size to incorporate sequences and longer poems, articles and plenty of reviews .... The contents are global ... all saying what has to be said, in ways and words you wish you'd imagined. Shining intelligence, to brighten and inspire serious poetry lovers.' Orbis

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'Few publications deliver consistently good issues — The Journal is among them. Filled with well-written poems from some of the best contemporary poets I've ever read, The Journal is the definitive showpiece of the small press. Each issue also contains thorough book and journal reviews composed by writers whose love of literature is evident.' Hyacinthe L. Raven Via Dolorosa Press (USA)

'...interesting and experimental while avoiding the obscure and unnecessarily difficult. Add to the excellent selection of poetry, some interesting and insightful reviews and The Journal is a must for anyone who loves poetry and is not afraid of a bit of experimentation and the new insights that this can bring.' Juliet Wilson


current issue

#63 sold out. #64 first went in the post 11th October 2021.

In #64 The Journal reviewers Daniel Bennett, Janice Dempsey, Emma Lee, Sam Smith, Andrew Taylor and Melissa Todd have their wits tested by authors Victoria Barragam, Adrian Clarke, Roger Elkin, Lee McLaughlin, Jenny Mitchell, David Olsen, Mandy Pannett, Astra Papachristodoulou & John Kilburn, James Russell, Anna Saunders, Richard Schwarz, Penny Sharman, Robert Sheppard, Ruth Stacey & Krista Kay, Tanner, Laura Theis, Rodney Wood, Mantz Yorke, Grahaeme Barrasford Young and Alessio Zanelli.

The Journal's raison d'être being poetry #64 also contains poems by Laura Chalar, A C Clarke, Belinda Cooke, Colin Crewdson, Zack Dicks, Richard Dinges, Alan Dixon, Deborah H. Doolittle, Philip Dunkerley, John Freeman, René Morales Hernández, Emma Lee, Alwyn Marriage, Ciaran McDermott, Cara L McKee, Ian Mullins, Matthew Mullins, James B. Nicola, David Olsen, Terence Quinn, Colin Robinson, Gordon Scapens, KV Skene, Paul Stephenson, Grant Tarbard, Charles D. Tarlton, Michael W. Thomas, Alfred Todd, Simon Williams and Robin Lindsay Wilson.

Time to take out/renew the subscription? 

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John Freeman's front cover poem from #64

Sharing Sweets on a Station Platform

When I see loose-limbed, graceful cricketers

from Trinidad, Jamaica or Barbados,

I think of men I used to meet in childhood,

bus drivers and conductors, railway porters,

or crowding Brixton market where I went

to buy potatoes, apples, greens and grapefruit

from a list given me by my mother.

It was the friendliest, safest place I knew.

What shocked me when I opened an account

at a bank was hearing tellers making jokes,

not caring if I heard them, that weren’t funny

but full of ugly spite about their neighbours.

I saw nothing to like in either of them.

I wouldn’t call their unwholesome colour white,

just unhealthy, pallid like curdled milk

or something else that ought to be thrown out.

I thought back to when I’d been much younger,

standing on platform 2 at Herne Hill, taking

a fruit gum from a packet, peeling it back

to offer to somebody who was with me.

A railway worker built like Joel Garner

happened to be walking along the track.

I caught his eye and offered him a fruit gum.

Tall as he was, his face was just below me.

I peeled the paper back. His hands were dirty,

he showed me, so I put into his mouth

the small round ridged jelly like a wafer,

as he looked up with a face as trusting

as I was myself or even more so.

Don’t think I’m saying that he wasn’t adult.

I’m sure people like those clerks had got to him.

He was touched, I saw, and made me feel I’d done

something beautiful, but to me it was he

who was beautiful, a spirit full of grace.

I hope that moment shone through years of insult

for him as it has always done for me.


  to subscribe 

To subscribe to The Journal an annual subscription (3 issues) is £14.00 Buy Now This is a new Stripe button. However if it doesn't work payment can be made through PayPal by going directly to the PayPal website and making payment to The Journal via . If you do this please also email me your name and address so that I can send you copies.

Failing that you can send me a cheque, made payable to 'Sam Smith' at The Journal, 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, CF32 8AS

Within the UK a single copy, current issue, is now £5.00 Buy Now This is a new Stripe button. However if it doesn't work payment can still be made by going directly to the PayPal website and making payment to The Journal via . If you do this please also email me your name and address so I can send you your copy.

Failing that you can send me a cheque, made payable to 'Sam Smith' at The Journal, 38 Pwllcarn Terrace, Blaengarw, Bridgend, CF32 8AS


From #63 onwards due to a spate of increased postal costs here in the UK I have had to raise the cost of a single issue to £5.00 the annual subscription (3 issues) to £14.00


to submit

editorial policy is ' try to publish those poems — from wheresoever they may come — written with thought to what the poem is saying and to how it is being said. Also welcomed are poems that can travel, that can cross boundaries, that do not assume in their readers a shared knowledge nor a shared set of beliefs. And it will be a rare day when I take a poem about being a poet or about the writing of poems. Also, because my aim is to keep The Journal secular, any poem containing religious terminology will not be considered for publication....'

* poems in English please, or translations into English (about 6 at a time)
* also welcome are interviews with poets, reviews, appreciations or appraisals of current poetry scenes
* if, within UK, a reply is desired, enclose SAE

* payment will be one complimentary copy to each author
* copyright will remain with author

* Before submitting work from outside the UK please be aware of the following - In 2012 the Royal Mail failed to deliver #36 The Journal to overseas subscribers and contributors for more than two months after posting, and this despite my having had Post Office counter staff weigh and price every envelope containing a copy of #36. This failure caused not only disappointment, but also some bad feeling. The Journal is a labour of love, and I don't need to even feel accused of bad faith. So from #38 on I will no longer send contributor's copies abroad via the Royal Mail, nor accept any subscriptions from outside the UK. I will, however, send to those who still wish to contribute from outside the UK a pdf file of the relevant issue as an email attachment. And I will of course endeavour to meet all outstanding  obligations, but please don't blame me if the Royal Mail fails again to deliver.

email - 

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