Autumn 2021: Issue 100


Poetry London‘s 100th issue marks 33 years in print as one of the UK’s leading poetry magazines. This hardcover bumper issue – featuring a specially-commissioned silver block-printed design – features a retrospective showcase of poems entitled ‘Our History in Verse’, which includes work by Les Murray, Alice Oswald, Kwame Dawes, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Sharon Olds, Moniza Alvi, Fred D’Aguiar, Alice Notley, Kathleen Jamie, Frances Leviston, Sarah Howe, Niall Campbell and Romalyn Ante. Elsewhere in its pages are brilliant translations of new work by the German poet Durs Grünbein, the Sri Lankan Tamil poet Nillanthan, and the Dutch poet Anne Vegter. The issue’s prose includes an essay by Christopher Reid on his new anthology of London poems, Poems of London (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets Series, 2021), as well as an excerpt from Dan O’Brien’s A Story that Happens: On Playwriting, Childhood, & Other Traumas (CB Editions / Dalkey Archive Press, 2021), which offers some hard-won insights into how we source our stories and why we begin to tell them. Other prose contributions include an insightful ‘Postcard from the ’90s by our Reviews Editor Dai George, as well as criticism by Jenny Wong, Aoife Lyall, Stephanie Sy-Quia and Pratyusha, our current Ledbury Editor-in-Residence. Other highlights are the winners of the 2021 Poetry Prize, as judged by Malika Booker, and ‘How To Be A Poet: A Collage, composed of exclusive excerpts from interviews published by Poetry London over the past decades.

You can read a selection of content from the magazine, plus some exclusive online content, here.

Standard price for subscribers, £15/£18/£20 for non-subscribers (incl. postage)

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Editorial by André Naffis-Sahely

Our History in Verse

Charles Boyle Writ in Water
Katherine Gallagher Impromptu
Reyahn King Letter from Leytonstone
Moniza Alvi The Country at My Shoulder
Debjani Chatterjee Learning the Imperialist’s Language
Helen Dunmore The Surgeon Husband
E A Markham Taxis
Martha Kapos Fishing
Dennis O’Driscoll All
Peter Redgrove The Bird Sanctuary, Padstow
Kwame Dawes Cocoa Pod
Vernon Scannell Indian Summer
Les Murray The Machine-Gunning of Charm
Tomaž Šalamun Nations
Choman Hardi Mixed Marriage
Vénus Khoury-Ghata from Borderlines
Leontia Flynn “Country Songs”
Alice Oswald from Dunt
Frances Leviston The Fortune-teller
Fabio Moràbito To Federico Gaxiola
Kit Fan Night Temples
Sharon Olds Sleekit Cowrin’
Kathleen Jamie Hawk and Shadow
Maria Stepanova (as they must)
Niall Campbell ‘The Letter Always Arrives at its Destination’
Sarah Howe from A loop of jade
David Harsent from Salt
Kayombo Chingonyi Broomhall
Declan Ryan Happy Days
Alice Notley Creating the Memory Collage
Fred D’Aguiar Sun Rises in Mid-City, LA
40 Romalyn Ante Nadare
Hibaq Osman Countdown

New Poems

Durs Grünbein Conferencier // Inner emptiness
Anne Vegter Other news
Sara Elkamel Separation Calls
Ellen McAteer My Mother as Snake
Jee Leong Koh Mark, November 3, 2006 (Fri), Dante Café
Philip Metres Plague Psalm
Tim Liardet The Wildfires Speak in Thoughts
Nillanthan Mother of Two Martyrs // On Our Return – October 2009
Julian Stannard Love in the Time of Corona
Tony Barnstone Fortress America
Jodie Hollander Green Beans
Aleksandar Hemon The World, 2nd Draft
Ava Koohbor The War


The Winners of Poetry London’s 2021 Prize

Featured Essays and Reviews

How To Be A Poet: A Collage

Dai George: Postcard from the ’90s

Christopher Reid on Poems of London

Aoife Lyall salutes two great Irish poets

Jenny Wong on three powerful, witty books of self-assertion

Stephanie Sy-Quia on three collections that wrestle with contemporary events

Erin Cunningham on three collections that explore the entanglement of human and natural worlds

Kate Simpson on plurality, authenticity and reinvention in the age of hyper-connectivity

Katrina Naomi on five outstanding pamphlets

John Clegg on J H Prynne’s productive lockdown year

Pratyusha on a tactile, probing debut collection

Dan O’Brien on Negative Capability & the Fox Sisters of Hydesville

Notes on Contributors


Poetry London’s Editors: 1988–2021