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.

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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
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

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