By Vivian Onyekwere
A new magazine known as Mack’s Mag has been launched in memory of Chester poet and resident Trevor ‘Mack’ McCormack.
Mack passed away two years ago but his legacy goes on through this new magazine, which aims to shine a light on talented writers in and around Chester.
The launch of the magazine took place at Storyhouse and was organised by charities in Chester including SHARE, which runs a shop and cafe on Northgate Street and which has, from the outset, been supportive of the magazine inspired by Mack.
The magazine’s co-founder and editor Campbell Russell, known as Russ, hosted the launch in honour of his friend, who he first met in 2017 when he was invited to mentor Mack with his burgeoning poetry writing.
The online version of Mack’s Mag was a task both Russ and Mack planned to work on together before he died in March 2020.
“So, we came up with this idea in magazine format and that’s what we produced and, unfortunately, Mack died two years ago, leaving me with the task of finishing the project, which has not been easy because of lockdown but now it’s there and we have an online version,” said Russ.
Russ, who described his friend as a “good man”, added: “One of the things with Mack was he was very generous with his time; he would encourage other people. So yes, he was a very good man.
“But the sad thing about Mack’s death is that it came along just as he was beginning to get his life back together.”
Listen here to our podcast about the Mack’s Mag launch.
At the launch event, a selection of Mack’s poetry was read aloud and there were performances by Fallen Angels Dance Theatre, who are the Storyhouse company-in-residence, and a drama group from Chester-based Café 71, which supports people who are in crisis.
Fallen Angels Dance Theatre is a charity which provides high quality dance theatre experiences for people in recovery from addiction.
Laura, one of the participants from Fallen Angels, said that its aim was to give people who were in recovery from addiction or facing mental health issues the chance to experience the power of dancing and movement.
She said: “We are doing it in memory of Mack. We are doing it in memory of anyone out there who unfortunately dies from suicide or anything from mental health or addiction.”
Watch the Cafe 71 drama group perform their interpretation of Mack’s poem entitled Black Sheep at the launch of Mack’s Mag here.
Copies of Mack’s Mag are available via the SHARE shop and cafe on Northgate Street. They are free but donations are welcomed as they will help to fund future editions. The magazine is also available online.