Category Archives: Editorial


Editorial Note

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This is a very difficult editorial note to write; after years in the Poetry Editor’s chair, the April – June 2018 issue is the last to have Mandy Pannett as our Poetry Editor. It has been an incredibly good journey. … Continue reading

Editorial Note | SLQ October – December 2017

We are selling the metal that kills / so we can afford the spoons that feed our children; / then killing them with the metal that we’ve just sold / feeding them with the blood on the spoons from happy meals. (Matt Duggan ‘Metal’)


The poems. The short stories. The play. The Essay & Reviews. They come together in this issue to reflect on what we are doing to our world and to ourselves. We encounter the tricks and the subterfuges of personal relationships. We enjoy the struggles that come along when life-changing decisions are made at the risk of tearing apart families, separating loved ones, and we are thrown into a dance of jubilation as people change, make room for adventure, and somehow, just somehow, love and unity find a way, even as we cannot help the aftermath of wars and their enduring devastations.


The IDF in Nablus walk through walls / eviscerating living rooms, inverting geometry. / Where streets prickle with barricades / walls become the easy street, mapped / by laser, admitted by C4. (Noel Williams ‘Lethal Theory’)


We celebrate our Sentinel Champions from our August 2017 poetry competition judged by Oz Hardwick; the specially mentioned Kelly Nunnerley ‘Surrender’, L Thompson ‘Your windows’ and Sharon Phillips ‘Labile’. The commended Michael Brown ‘Our Father’, Kathleen Strafford ‘Swinger’ and Jim Friedman ‘Some have entertained angels unawares’. The highly commended Maria Isakova Bennett ‘Frozen Ringtone’, Diane Cook ‘The Softening’ and Sharon Phillips -again – ‘What does the heart mean in popular culture?’. Gabriel Griffin ‘Vanitas’ (third prize), Greta Ross ‘In transit’ and Noel Williams ‘Lethal Theory’ (first prize winner.)


Think about Travelling without Moving by Jamiroquai, when you read the play ‘Out of the Night’ by Geoffrey Heptonstall. Theatre of the absurd does in your head the way this play chips away at our minds and patience. Yet we recognize that out of the ashes of war, out of the coldness of prison cells and the loneliness of institutions for the mentally ill rise many Alans and Doloreses. We know it is time to change the way we live, the way we talk, the way we treat each other.


As we publish our last 2017 issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly, we give many thanks to our poetry editor, Mandy Pannett, for her untiring love of this magazine and the sacrifices she makes to ensure we keep on publishing amazing. Many thanks to our subscribers, the generous individuals and institutions who pay for this magazine despite its availability at no cost online. Special appreciation to those faithful participants in our writing competitions. Many of you have been with us right from the beginning, through the times we have been strong and the times we have been troubled. You have stood behind us (whether your poems have placed or not), and the little margins, when we achieve some are plunged right back into publishing this magazine. We give our love too to those who have just recently discovered Sentinel and are building a relationship with us.


Finally, we owe the teams at The Poetry Library (London), The Poetry Kit, The Poetry Society of New Zealand, Writers Reign, Prize Magic, The Poetry Can, Orbis, Writers Editors, The First Writer and Christopher Fielden for all the free and regular promotion they give our competitions and magazine.

Merry Christmas.


Nnorom Azuonye |Publisher & Managing Editor

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20ELEVATION. A new year. A new season.

My study desk is a hurricane chaos of academic monographs – philosophical, political and creative. For the past few years I have researching on the psychology and aesthetics of creative anarchy in English and African literatures. A rewarding pursuit and yet one that has been keeping me away from reading for the sake of reading. The most readings I have been doing has been through browsing books in High Street bookshops. I miss the thrill of reading. This year, one of my ambitions is to actually read as many books to the last page. Reading is the best apprenticeship any writer needs. It is a perpetual craving that feeds and educates. I also encourage you to READ: It’s a challenge.

This is an open issue of Sentinel Literary Quarterly with pieces that challenge, inspire and encourage. Take a moment to read, to journey, to participate in dialogues that enrich and help you discover a different territory, listen and feel different voices and immerse in different experiences. Three Zimbabwean writers dialogue on the literature of their country in the backdrop of a political crisis; a Namibian songstress and poetess shares her experiences and gives a glimpse of the literary and cultural potential of her country. There is also an eclectic mix of poetry, reviews and short stories by writers from America to Britain; Nigeria to South Africa.

Be part of the Sentinel literary experience by sending in submissions or feedback – our lifeblood is our ability to interact with the world.

Tinashe Mushakavanhu