Its eclectic international editorial vision makes Poetry London one of the very best, essential poetry magazines in English.Steve Berg, Editor, American Poetry ReviewFrom modest beginnings in 1988, when it was a listings newsletter, Poetry London has developed into one of the UK’s leading poetry magazines.
Do not be misled by our name: Poetry London has the same relation to London as The New Yorker has to New York. In other words, it is a national and international magazine. We publish three times a year and feature poems and reviews from across the UK and Ireland, but also from the US, Canada and Australia and many in translation. Poetry London wants to attract the best poems by the best poets currently writing in English.
But an important editorial aim is also to foster emerging writers. On average a third of the poetry pages is given to poets who have yet to publish a first collection. We review pamphlets in the autumn issue and first collections in every issue, and we run an annual poetry competition.
Poetry London spreads its net wide to include the latest from Europe, America and other parts of the world: work by new poets and established ones … It’s one of the best poetry magazines around.Ciaran Carson
Editors & Staff
Martha Sprackland is editor at Offord Road Books and a founding editor of multilingual arts zine La Errante. She was previously assistant poetry editor at Faber, and before that was co-founder of Cake poetry magazine. Her own poetry has appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry London, Poetry Review and many other places, and she writes a regular poetry and fiction review column for Five Dials. A pamphlet, Glass As Broken Glass, was published by Rack Press in 2017, and a non-fiction book on sharks is forthcoming. She is a poet-in-residence for Caught by the River.
For information about Martha’s editorship at Poetry London, please see Poetry Editor News.
Martha Kapos, Poetry Co-editor, was born in America, read Classics at Harvard, then came to study painting and art history at the Chelsea College of Art. She taught there, lecturing and writing on art history and poetry until 2001, when she joined Poetry London. Her first poetry publication was a pamphlet from The Many Press in 1989. She won a Hawthornden Fellowship in 1994 and in 2000 was shortlisted for Poetry Review’s Geoffrey Dearmer ‘New Poet of the Year’ Award. Her poems have been published in Agenda, Thumbscrew, Poetry London, Poetry Review, Rialto, and The Times Literary Supplement. Her first collection, My Nights in Cupid’s Palace (Enitharmon, 2003) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation and won the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for Best First Collection. Her second collection, Supreme Being (Enitharmon, 2008), and third collection, The Likeness (Enitharmon, 2014), both received Poetry Book Society Recommendations.
Dai George is a poet, critic and editor from Cardiff. His first collection, The Claims Office (Seren, 2013), was an Evening Standard book of the year, and his poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies such as Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Guardian Online, The White Review and The Salt Book of Younger Poets. Since 2014 he has edited the online poetry journal Prac Crit with its founding editor Sarah Howe and Vidyan Ravinthiran. He is currently completing a PhD on twentieth-century poetry and syntax at University College London, where he also teaches.
Ali Lewis is a poet from Nottingham. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2018 and his debut pamphlet Hotel is forthcoming in the Verve Experimental Pamphlet Series. His poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Textual Practice, and Ambit, and a sequence set to improvised music is forthcoming on Radio 3. He is the outgoing Editorial and Special Projects Manager at the Poetry School, and will soon start a Northern Bridge-funded PhD at Durham. www.alilewispoet.com
Ellen McAteer is General Manager of Poetry London, a promoter with Martello music in Suffolk, and the founder of tell it slant poetry bookshop in Glasgow. She is also on the Editorial Board of Gutter magazine. Her poetry pamphlet Honesty Mirror won First Prize in New Writer magazine. She won the 2017 Waterstones’ Refugee Week Poetry Competition, and has been shortlisted for the Baker Prize. She was Director of the Poetry Trust, which ran the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, and continues to be involved with Poetry in Aldeburgh. She has been a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art and on the University of Oxford Creative Writing MSt, a mentee of the Clydebuilt Verse Apprenticeship Scheme, under Alexander Hutchison, and a singer with the band Stone Tape.
Jess Chandler is a publisher and editor, and runs the independent publishing houses Prototype and House Sparrow Press. She was a co-founder of Test Centre, which ran from 2011–18, publishing innovative works of poetry and fiction. She has worked as an editor at Reaktion Books, and as a researcher and producer on factual television programmes. She previously worked at Poetry London as the first Digital Editor, and is delighted to be returning to the organisation at this exciting time.
Martin Parker was born in North Nottinghamshire and studied photography at Napier University, Edinburgh. He moved to London in 1997 and completed his MA (Fine Art) at Central Saint Martins, London. His work has been exhibited in Sheffield, Edinburgh, London and Poznan, Poland, including solo shows, and he has curated a number of international and UK exhibitions. He has worked as a graphic designer since 1997 and specializes in education and the arts. His clients include: Tate Modern, Terra Incognita, Refugee Council, The Poetry Society, The Poetry School, Enitharmon Press, Hearing Eye, Lambeth Archive, Norwood, Middlesex University, Social Spider, and the Zoological Society of London. He is co-editor of Brittle Star magazine for new writers and plays in a band called Friends (since 1990). He joined Poetry London in 2000. For more information go to www.silbercow.co.uk.
Hadiru Mahdi joined Poetry London as Administrator in Autumn 2017. He is a writer performer and visual artist. As a member of the Boy’s Don’t performance poetry theatre production with Papertales and the Half Moon theatre he delivers plays and workshops for young audiences. His art collective Vulpes Vulpes has been active since 2009, in that time moving from running a gallery and project space supporting emerging artist, to making work as an artist group. He writes poetry, prose and music, performing also as Brother Portrait. With a background in Economics and International Development he as previously held a number of positions in think tanks and NGOs including the Bretton Woods Project and Jubilee Debt Campaign’s Economic Justice Project.
Board of Trustees
Jessica Alexander is a publishing lawyer. She worked for Penguin Books for several years, and since 2001 has been in-house counsel for a major academic publishing company which publishes medical and scientific journals, textbooks and reference works. She is also a trustee of the London Legal Support Trust and the Music of Life Foundation.
Louise Bangay trained as an actor at the Drama Studio, London after taking a BA in English & Drama at Hull University and a Post Graduate in Movement and Dance at the Laban Centre, Goldsmith’s College. She co-founded European Stage Company, whose work included British premieres by Vaclav Havel and August Strindberg, and later Damned Poets Theatre Company, committed to staging plays in verse, producing a repertory of five rarely performed Yeats plays, Glyn Maxwell’s first stage play, Shelley’s The Cenci and the British premiere of a specially commissioned and published translation of Corneille’s Horace by Alan Brownjohn at the Lyric. Acting work includes television, film, the West End and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Sophia Blackwell was born in Newcastle and read English at Oxford, where she started performing poetry in 2003. Since then, she has performed at Glastonbury, Edinburgh and many more of the major festivals. Her first poetry collection, Into Temptation, was published in 2009 and her novel, After My Own Heart, in 2012.
Sophia has worked in marketing within the publishing industry for over ten years and has experience in managing and promoting trade, academic and professional titles and a background in digital content marketing and publicity.
Isobel Dixon grew up in South Africa, where her debut poetry collection Weather Eye won the Olive Schreiner Prize. She completed her post-graduate study in Edinburgh and works in London, where she is a director of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. Her further collections are A Fold in the Map and The Tempest Prognosticator and she co-wrote and performed in The Debris Field, a multi-media show about the RMS Titanic. Her work has been recorded for The Poetry Archive and in 2016 Mariscat will publish a pamphlet The Leonids and Nine Arches will publish her new collection, Bearings.
Photo by Jack Ladenburg
Karen McCarthy Woolf
Karen McCarthy Woolf holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council doctoral scholarship at the University of London, Royal Holloway where she is researching new ways of writing about nature and politics in the face of climate change. Her book An Aviary of Small Birds, published by Oxford Carcanet is A Poetry Book Society Recommendation and Forward Prize Best First Collection nominee. She was the recipient of a Prairie Schooner Glenna Luschei Award in 2015.
Chris Pitsillides is a Senior Manager at HW Fisher & Company Chartered Accountants specialising in authors, journalists and media clients. Chris has worked in tax for over 10 years and has built up a good knowledge of income and corporation tax as well as capital gains tax (CGT) and inheritance tax (IHT). His proactive manner, eye for opportunity and approachability makes him a valuable resource for his clients. Outside of work Chris enjoys reading, playing games, visiting new places and spending time with his family and friends.
Alex Pryce has been involved with Poetry London since 2010, first as Listings Editor and later as a trustee. She holds a doctorate in contemporary poetry from the University of Oxford. She in communications in the Higher Education sector and teaches contemporary literature. She edited Magma Poetry 59, and is a regular reviewer and feature writer for UK literary magazines.
Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-running editorial consultancy for writers, providing editing services, mentoring and literary events. Since 2015, she has been a shortlist judge for both the Bridport First Novel Award and the Creative Future Literary Awards for marginalised writers. Aki is a member of the #BAMEinPublishing network, and an advocate for improved inclusivity, accessibility and transparency in the literature sector. In 2018, in recognition of her work at TLC her #BookJobTransparency campaign, she was named as one of the FutureBook40, a list of 40 innovators in UK publishing. Aki is also a prize-winning writer of poetry, short stories and experimental non-fiction, with work featured in a range of publications including Synaesthesia Magazine, Year’s Best Weird Fiction IV, Popshot, InkSweatTears, CHEAP POP, and And Other Poems. She is co-founder of the Saboteur Award-shortlisted #LossLit digital literature project with Kit Caless (Influx Press), and an editor at LossLit Magazine.
Charlotte is a poet and artist who earns her living as a fundraiser for a human rights charity. Charlotte is a graduate of Newcastle University’s BA English Literature course, during which she developed her poetry writing including submitting a collection as her dissertation. She has been writing ever since, and her writing and visual art activities include being part of the Bedroom Artists’ Collective through which she helps organise and participates in exhibitions and workshops. Initially pursuing a career in theatre production, Charlotte changed direction to qualify as a solicitor and move into human rights and international development where she has found a career specialising fundraising for legally-focused causes. She currently works for an international criminal justice charity called Fair Trials and is a board member of the charity INQUEST.