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This report is taken from PN Review 193, Volume 36 Number 5, May - June 2010.

From the Bow-Wow Shop Michael Glover

Most things happen serendipitously. The Bow-Wow Shop is no exception. The name fell out of a dictionary, during a long night of insomnia a couple of years ago. I remember it well. A very cold night. A stuffed simulacrum of Poe’s Raven may have been eyeing me, as ever, from the wrong side of the window.

I was sitting in my favourite yielding chair, thumbing through the ‘B’s in Captain Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. That book had been published in London during the 1770s. What an incomparable decade to be alive in! No blight of Romanticism yet detected on the skin…

My eye was idling down the page when it was caught up short by something marvellous: ‘The Bow-Wow Shop. A salesman’s shop in Monmouth Street. Where the servant barks and the master bites.’ Nothing more. What was this place? An under-cover bordello? Then I understood - not what it had been, but what it was to be: the title of the poetry magazine I’d been dreaming about creating for years, feisty, polemical, engaging, irreverent and wholly readable, infused with the spirit of Comedy…

I set to work, drawing up a plan, pouring in ideas for this and that feature. But there was a problem. I didn’t want the burden of a print magazine. I didn’t want all those unsold copies cluttering up the basement. I didn’t want printers’ bills either. Someone said to me: do it on the ...


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