Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Abridged?

Abridged aims to publish and exhibit contemporary/experimental poetry plus contemporary art We encourage poets/artists to investigate the articulation of ‘Abridged’ themes. These themes focus on contemporary concerns in a rapidly changing society. We are offering an alternative and complete integration of poetry, art and design. We experiment continually. We also stray into the exhibition format producing contemporary, innovative and challenging work accompanied by a free publication.

Where is Abridged from?

We’re based in The People’s Republic of Derry. Or Londonderry. Or Derry-Londonderry. (Copyright City of Culture). Or whatever you wish.

Why call it Abridged?

Because we are. You are. Everyone is. It also gives us a completeness to aspire to. People were rather dubious in regard to the name when we first unveiled it. However it’s become quite iconic and serves its purpose as we intended. We used to believe the ‘Abridged’ world was a few steps away from reality. Now it’s inches.

Who is Abridged?

At the moment Abridged is Gregory McCartney and Susanna Galbraith and has been for quite a while. However the make-up of Abridged is quite fluid and we have worked with various personnel over the years and no doubt will continue to do so. People come and go. The light still flashes.

How many issues of Abridged are there per year?

Generally there are three issues per year though this can increase with the addition of our exhibition publications and other project magazines.

Where can we get Abridged?

Abridged is generally available at art galleries and arts organisations in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Galway. Usually for a limited period as they go very quickly. You can also read a free Pdf of each issue on this website.

How and when do I submit material to Abridged?

We have a theme for each issue so it’s best to check this website, our facebook page ‘abridged’ and Twitter account (@Abridged030) as well as the usual agencies such as the Poetry Ireland website and the Visual Artists Ireland email-shot and wait for the submission call before sending us material.

Does Abridged pay a fee for sucessful submissions?

Sadly as we’re a free magazine we cannot pay fees though all those published receive a copy of the magazine. In terms of presentation and content we’re up there with anyone.

Why is Abridged free?

We want the maximum number of people to see it, read it and experience it. We believe this is best done using the free-publication methodology.

How long has Abridged been going?

Officially since 2004. We like to think there has always been Abridged people though.

Why is Abridged numbered as it is rather than dated with issue number as most other publications are?

We want the Abridged to be timeless hence the lack of a date to condemn it to the archives. We ahem borrowed Factory Records system of cataloguing and added a zero to signify abridgment.

Why are there gaps in the list of magazines/projects?

Abridged projects are numbered as they are conceived rather than born. Some (for various reasons) don’t make it to existence hence the gaps. We do on occasion revisit projects. For example Abandoned Donegal originated in 2007 but wasn’t born until 2010 therefore it has the 0 – 7 moniker.

Where did Abridged spring from?

Once upon a time there was a rather bad tempered little poetry magazine called ‘The Chancer’ organised by a ‘Bunch of Chancers’. It detailed Derry’s nigh-time activities and the nefarious going-ons in car-parks and other glamorous locations. It was ahead of its time and lasted probably far longer than it should. It was cheap, cheerful and we’re still proud of it. Some of the launch performances went down in legend. When it finally went to the place where all good magazines go one of the Chancers decided a new approach was required and the Abridged was born. Different name, much the same spirit.

What are Abridged’s Influences?

Many and Varied. From T. S. Elliot to The Sisters of Mercy.

Why are you so ‘miserable or negative’? 

We aren’t. We believe there’s enough people being ‘positive’ and ‘inspirational’ to be going on without us adding to the merriment.

Why do you have themes?

We aren’t like other poetry magazines. We don’t make it easy for you. We challenge you to think about our themes and respond to them. We make no apology for thematic issues. We could do a ‘Love’ issue and receive thousands of submissions. We won’t.

Why can’t I ever get published in it?

Keep trying. Read past issues to see the type of material we favour. We believe the current record is someone getting published in the magazine after nine years of submitting to us. We admire that tenacity. Don’t take it personally. I’m sure we’d like you if we met you. Just because you weren’t in one doesn’t mean you won’t be in the next.

Why don’t you ever do readings?

Because others (and your friends) do it so much better than we can. We do occasionally if we are able to ask poets who we feel are Abridged. This generally costs more than people have. So organise your own reading.

Why do you do exhibitions? 

We feel the written word and visual arts are interconnected intimately. We see editors as curators and vice-versa. We also like the epic. We can turn the magazine into a 3D something on occasion.