And now for someone completely different!
After seven years of Lighten Up Online I have handed over the job of Editor to Jerome Betts, the man who, as well as guest editing three Issues, has brought us delights such as his ballade to a bulbous but unspecified auction lot (Issue 14), a dead poet's aperient salts discovered as a museum exhibit (Issue 15), an unashamedly muftiless Major (Issue 24) and many wondrous others.
I am confident that LUPO will thrive under his direction, that you will give him the same level of support and encouragement which you have given me – and that he will enjoy the Editor's job every bit as much as I have done.
We have come a long way since Issue One was panned by a disdainful American as being nothing more than too many Brits struggling with pentameters – a disdainful American who was, nonetheless, quick to add Lighten Up Online to his own publishing credits before returning to the dizzy heights of the molehill that is his own self-build Mount Olympus.
In the seven years since his pronouncement we have featured the work of almost one hundred and fifty poets – including many highly acclaimed ones -- chiefly from Britain and the USA. But Lighten Up Online has also sought to offer a first chance of publication to new poets who might otherwise have starved to death, unpublished, in their garrets. To have had the chance to encourage newcomers has been a privilege and a delight.
My original goal was to provide a home for light verse and lighter poetry in a world where they are too often under-rated, if not belittled, and in which they are given too few chances to shine as they deserve. Entertainment, I believe, is not a minor art form; nor is writing intelligibly for a wider audience an inferior occupation. Poetry is a broad church of which we are a proper part and light verse, often much less light than it may first appear to be, is well capable of tackling the most weighty of subjects. Thank you all who have helped me wave the flag for this cause. Please continue to wave it as you fall in behind our new Editor.
At Jerome's request I shall not be disappearing altogether but recycling myself into a sort of Dogsbody Emeritus responsible, in the immediate future, for getting each Issue up on to the website. I shall also continue as part of the Editorial Group and in case of need help decide on acceptances. Hopefully, these will include the occasional piece of my own!
Thank you for much friendship, joy and laughter. Long may it all continue.