- Section editor Jolyon Webber disseminates the highlights of the Porter from this year
If the role of the Porter is to represent Port’s catholic tastes, I hope it has in part been achieved through what’s gone into those pages in the last year. As a guide (to who knows what and where), it could perhaps best be described as one that only really has a rough idea of navigation. Digressive, impatient and with an attention span that might politely be described as brief, it is nonetheless a guide that hopes to take you somewhere of interest in as entertaining a way as possible. Wine, whiskey, fashion, guns, meat, adventuring, Lightning-Jet ejector seats, kayaks, photography, horology… I like to think of the Porter as the dilettante you’re glad you’re sat next to at dinner.Above: Ahmad Jamal
Photography Flora Hanitijo
We had some illustrious jazz musicians in the Porter this year: Ravi Coltrane, son of John and Alice, a supremely talented tenor saxophonist and arranger and Ahmad Jamal, undoubtedly one of the greatest living jazz pianists still working today. Alongside them, we featured Linton Kwesi Johnson, one of this country’s greatest living poets and oracle of dub music, lovingly profiled by Roots Manuva, and a poet that I’ve long felt deserved more recognition here, Thom Gunn – an Englishman who lived most of his adult life in San Francisco, most famously chronicling the AIDS epidemic in The Man with the Night Sweats, a collection I could not recommend more highly.
- Tim McDonagh’s illustrations have vividly brought to life the words of explorers Ben Saunders and Alastair Humphreys, and to great effect. Ben wrote for us about his preparations for the expedition he is currently on, attempting to recreate Scott’s Antarctic journey of more than a century ago, while Alastair commented on the Atlantic row he undertook last year with three others. Both pieces offer brief but fascinating insight into the psychological demands (and benefits) of testing the boundaries of human endurance.
Illustration Tim McDonagh
Kate Copeland’s elegantly simple drawings have added much to the Porter this year, so much so it’s becoming hard for me to imagine a Porter without them. She has beautifully illustrated for us American author Rick Moody’s top ten albums with heads of Bob Dylan, Sun Ra and Captain Beefheart, five styles of men’s headwear and Tom Vaught’s evocative remembrance of his father’s favourite scotches.
My thanks to all who have been involved with the Porter this year, it would of course not be possible without your contribution and imagination.
Jolyon is Porter editor
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