The Autumn 2020 issue contains translations from Filipino and Arabic, poems from American poet sam sax and Zimbabwean poet Togara Muzanenhamo, a long poem by St Lucian–Canadian poet Canisia Lubrin, and new work by Hannah Lowe, Inua Ellams, Fiona Moore, Susannah Dickey, Mark Waldron, Declan Ryan, Gboyega Odubanjo and Sean O’Brien, among many, many others. Newcomers to the magazine include James Giddings and Layla Benitez-James.

The prose in this issue hinges on three exclusive interviews with poets whose new books have been released in the shadow of lockdown. In their conversations with the Poetry London team, Inua Ellams, Rachel Long and Romalyn Ante each, in their own way, talk about the dislocations of the pandemic and the politics of rebuilding society in the aftermath. Be sure to check out the longer online version of the Ellams interview, to see that fascinating conversation spread out beyond its counterpart in the print issue.

Our feature essay, meanwhile, sees Vidyan Ravinthiran reflect on the experience of growing up with a speech impediment, in a memoir that doubles as an acute critical account of poetry driven by experiences of blockage, obstacle and disability. And we have the usual wealth of reviews, covering collections from Danez Smith, Karen Solie, Franny Choi and Sharon Olds, among many other emerging and established voices.

Discover more from this issue…



Editorial by Dai George
A Project of Homebuilding


Togara Muzanenhamo

Canisia Lubrin
How We Are Astonished

sam sax
A Brief & Partial History
Yerba Buena Gardens, SF

Gboyega Odubanjo
Oil Song
A Reminder to Mind Your Own

Susannah Dickey
Cold war spy with a mouth full of gold fillings

Hannah Lowe
Nĭ hăo
White Roses

Layla Benitez-James

Inua Ellams
Black Seeds and Soil / Roger Casement speaks

Holly Corfield Carr
A man, an animal, a lamina

Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles
Diet of Sex

Declan Ryan
I’m Working So I Won’t Have To Try So Hard

Ghayath Almadhoun
All Roads Lead to Berlin

Mark Waldron
Burn Down

Sean O’Brien
Looking into It

Neetha Kunaratnam
El Dorado

Romalyn Ante

James Giddings
No requests

Katrina Naomi
The Field

Fiona Moore
Flower, the smallest, the rarest


Eleanor Penny
Winter, a biography

Pat Winslow
1971, Northaw

S Niroshini
Letters to Sunny Leone
Notes on Contributors

Reviews and Features

A flint holds fire

Vidyan Ravinthiran on growing up with a speech impediment

Who Language Holds

Bridget Minamore on Danez Smith

Armed with Audacity
Robert Selby on Rishi Dastidar and Sam Riviere

No Fixed Points

Inua Ellams talks to Dai George

The Particulars in Motion
Aoife Lyall on Karen Solie and Vona Groarke

In Search of Home
Helen Calcutt on Jennifer Wong, Marvin Thompson, Mina Gorji and Matthew Haigh

A World so Large, and of Our Own Devising
Jennifer Wong on Theophilus Kwek and Franny Choi

Constant Flux

Rachel Long talks to Ali Lewis

Comma in the General Sense
John Clegg on Rosamund Stanhope

Houses on Fire
Jenna Clake on Jessica Mookherjee, Christina Thatcher and Caroline Bird

The Singing and the Noise
Katrina Naomi on Sharon Olds and Itō Hiromi

Intravenous Lines

Romalyn Ante talks to Ali Lewis

Abandoned Houses
Saba Ahmed on Srinivas Rayaprol and Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

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