Poetry London is an arts charity and leading international poetry magazine where acclaimed contemporary poets share pages with exciting new names. Published three times a year in February, May and September, each issue contains new poetry, incisive reviews and features. Poetry London holds an annual poetry competition and launches each issue with readings from distinguished poet contributors to the magazine.

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Poetry London Spring 2021 cover

The Spring 2021 issue of Poetry London, Martha Sprackland’s final issue as acting poetry editor, contains translations from Spanish and Dutch, a stunning, adamant erasure-poem written through the Ferguson Report by American poet Nicole Sealey, and a showcase of new work emerging from the inaugural residency of the Obsidian Foundation, introduced by its founder, Nick Makoha. There is new work by Selima Hill, Major Jackson, Holly Pester, Ruth Padel, Paul Muldoon and Rowan Ricardo Phillips, among many, many others. Poets interrogate the notion of work, family and love in a changed world, in an issue that is at once provoking, entertaining, exhilarating and insistent. Newcomers to the magazine include Adham Smart and Alex Bell.

Threading through the prose of the issue are three essays that address the shifting contours of poetry and society since the start of the pandemic. Marvin Thompson writes about balancing the demands of creativity, community and activism, at a time when poets are being asked to step up to the plate. Zoë Brigley presents a report from the field, reflecting on how digital technology and online events can improve accessibility and equalities. In the issue’s third essay, Laura Maw offers close readings of recent poems by Nadia de Vries, Warsan Shire, and Leah Horlick, three poets whose work depicting the trauma of domestic spaces resonates newly during lockdown.

Our interview for the issue sees Jennifer Lee Tsai talk to T.S. Eliot Prize-winner Bhanu Kapil about her transatlantic career, and the ongoing quest to find ‘a sentence that shakes’. And as always, alongside the features in the issue, you will find the most incisive reviews of new poetry, surveying recent collections by Natalie Diaz, Fred Moten, David Morley, and many more.

A selection of poems and articles are available to read online here.

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  • 'Poetry London has long been essential reading. Try imagining contemporary poetry without it.'Sean O'Brien
  • ‘Its eclectic international editorial vision makes Poetry London one of the very best, essential poetry magazines in English.’Steve Berg, Editor, American Poetry Review
  • 'The name Poetry London might suggest a publication geared to a metropolitan coterie. Nothing could be further from the truth. Poetry London spreads its net wide to include the latest from Europe, America, and other parts of the world.'Ciaran Carson
  • 'I’m impressed especially with your openness to international poetry in translation, but also with your resolutely non-sectarian approach to poetry in English – from many sources and schools.'Marilyn Hacker
  • 'What I particularly like about Poetry London is that it keeps talking to you when you close its covers.'John Kinsella
  • 'Poetry London has become THE magazine I most want to read.'Carol Ann Duffy
  • 'For its consistent representation of the best in British poetry, for the keenness of its critical response, for the way it attracts work from both established poets and the brightest newcomers, and for its editorial acuity, Poetry London is indispensable.'David Harsent
  • 'Poetry London publishes in-depth reviews and a wonderful range of international poets: young poets who have not yet published a collection, old hands, and poets from a wide variety of traditions. The one thing they have in common is their excellence.'Ruth Padel
  • 'There is no other literary magazine I read to find out what poets are up to across the pond. More than The London Review of Books or the TLS, I look to Poetry London. Whenever it arrives in my mailbox I cancel my plans and spend my time, instead, within those ecstatic pages.'Matthew Dickman
  • 'Poetry London has been my favourite poetry magazine for some years now. It keeps readers like me plugged into the most consistently exciting bits of the UK poetry scene, while bringing across some of the most important transatlantic writers too.'Sarah Howe

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