As The Tangerine prepares its fourth issue; Chloe Gault caught up with Tara McEvoy to find out more about Belfast’s fledgling cultural magazine.
Belfast has a new orange streak in the creative community, and not in the way one might expect. The Tangerine is Belfast’s newest creative publication, and has already attracted contributors of critical acclaim. Taking their name from the Louis MacNeice poem ‘Snow’, the lines “peel and portion/A tangerine and spit the pips and feel/The drunkenness of things being various.” Reveals not only the title, but also the ethos of the magazine itself. Editor Tara McEvoy explains, “I guess a lot of the discourse here [Northern Ireland] might be quite binary, so The Tangerine’s objective is to give space to plurality, to creative and critical work, and to explore things that are varied.”
Already a mounting success, the publication has acquired submissions from big names in the literary world. Eileen Myles, of Chelsea Girls fame has been interviewed in issue two, speaking of her time in Belfast during the Troubles, and how she came to live in North Belfast. Ciarán Carson (Belfast Confetti) has contributed to the first issue with a non-fiction work called ‘Thing’. Issue three does not fail to disappoint with interviews with Ireland’s newest literary darling, Sally Rooney, discussing her debut novel Conversations with Friends, and an interview with Luke Kennard ahead of his novel The Transition. These interviews can also be read on their website. The publication has it fingers on the pulse of good writing with a review on Tyehimba Jess’s Olio which has recently won a Pulitzer prize.
Issue three saw its Belfast launch evening in The Sunflower bar to a full house. A dull orange light filled the room almost in celebration of The Tangerine itself. The gentle buzz quietened as each reader came to speak. Stephen Connolly, co-editor of The Lifeboat pamphlet series, read his non-fiction piece ‘Thing’ a beautiful and haunting story surrounding Belfast, with particularly striking imagery attached to a vinyl record. Dawn Watson read her piece ‘Inter State’ telling of a mother and son’s cross-country trip as they attempt to rebuild their lives working as a trucker to make ends meet. Kevin Breathnach who has contributed to Granta and The Dublin Review and has just completed a non-fiction book, read his essay ‘Plattenbauten’ a take on his time in East Germany and the Marxist influence of the area. The co-editor of The Irish Review and lecturer at Queens University Belfast, Gail McConnell read her poem ‘14’ from the publication, as well some other poems. One poem of note was ‘Twenty Three Fifteen’ a stunning take on the recent solar eclipse and the beginnings of love. The warm atmosphere, and sensational poetry and prose made for an exquisite evening.
With three issues so far, The Tangerine is continuing to publish work with issue four due sometime in December. Editor Tara McEvoy states, “There is no theme, you can write about anything. Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, photography, and illustration.” A wonderful edition to the Belfast creative scene, and we are excited to see what it develops in the future. If you want to submit your work for consideration, go on to their website and email the relevant editor. If you are a consumer of creativity, bundles of upcoming editions are available for £30 per annum.