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PN Review

Walt Whitman features on the cover of PN Review 169 Visit the PNR Website

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'PN Review, the political wing of Carcanet Press, is the most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK's poetry magazines. A shelf of its back issues now extends to over a metre - I hope it continues to increase.' - Simon Armitage

PN Review

combines discovery and appraisal of new writing with reappraisals, celebrations and advocacies, and it has published a number of important special issues, the first being Crisis for Cranmer and King James. Another concentrated on the crisis in the Humanities in the face of the development of literary and cultural theory, opening a dialogue between opposing camps. The 100th issue was devoted to A Calendar of Modern Poetry, a unique anthology of the poetry of last century. PN Review 200 was published in August 2011.

Committed to modernism and its aftermaths, PN Review sets vital, alternative agendas for modern poetry

PN Review, established in 1973, champions the work of the New York School (John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara and others); of the Antipodeans (Les Murray, Judith Wright and Bill Manhire); it stands up for the experimental and keeps a weather eye on the poetries of Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Unique in range, it is also a magazine of discovery. Andrew Motion, Blake Morrison, Sophie Hannah, Sujata Bhatt, Sinead Morrissey and Jane Yeh are among those published early on. And it is a journal of re-discovery, in which W.S. Graham, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Laura Riding have featured.

Poems are accompanied by interviews (Genet, Gunn, Isherwood, Paz, Sciascia), essays, reviews, and reports on issues from around the world.

In the TLS Marilyn Butler called PNR, 'The most important current journal concerned with poetry...' George Steiner described it as 'the most incisive voice of a vision of poetry and the arts as central to national life'.

Supplements have been devoted to the work of John Ashbery, George Barker, Donald Davie, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Thom Gunn, F.T. Prince, Stephen Raw, I.A. Richards, Laura Riding, Edgell Rickword, C.H. Sisson, Adrian Stokes, Charles Tomlinson and Sylvia Townsend Warner.

The cover of PN Review 168 features an image by the Canadian artist Mary Harman PNR interviews include:

Aharon Appelfeld --- John Ashbery --- George Barker --- Lennox Berkeley --- Sujata Bhatt --- Eavan Boland --- Alison Brackenbury --- Christine Brooke-Rose --- Brian Cox --- Donald Davie --- Elaine Feinstein --- Mavis Gallant --- Jean Genet --- Michael Hamburger --- Brian Jones --- Mimi Khalvati --- David Kinloch --- Michael Longley --- James Michie --- Edwin Morgan --- Les Murray --- Norman MacCaig --- Karen Press --- Kathleen Raine --- Edgell Rickword --- Evelyn Schlag --- C.H. Sisson --- Raymond Tallis --- Jeremy Treglown --- Sylvia Townsend Warner --- Edmund White --- Mary-Kay Wilmers --- Charles Wright

PNR contributors include:

Tatamkhulu Africa --- John Ash --- John Ashbery --- George Barker --- Patricia Beer --- Sujata Bhatt --- Caroline Bird --- Eavan Boland --- Alison Brackenbury --- Anne Carson --- Paul Celan --- Gillian Clarke --- Mark Doty --- D.J. Enright --- Elaine Feinstein --- Lorna Goodison --- W.S. Graham --- Durs Grunbein --- Thom Gunn --- Sophie Hannah --- Marilyn Hacker --- Seamus Heaney --- John Heath-Stubbs --- Michael Hofmann --- Mimi Khalvati --- Thomas Kinsella --- Kenneth Koch --- Marius Kociejowski --- Gunter Kunert --- R.F. Langley --- Gwyneth Lewis --- Dulce Maria Loynaz --- Carola Luther --- Patrick McGuinness --- Bill Manhire --- Christopher Middleton --- Robert --- Minhinnick --- Dom Moraes --- Edwin Morgan --- Sinead Morrissey --- Andrew Motion --- Paul Muldoon --- Les Murray --- Michael Palmer --- Pier Paolo Pasolini --- Octavio Paz --- John Peck --- Robert Pinsky --- Joachim Sartorius --- Peter Scupham --- C.H. Sisson --- Iain Crichton Smith --- Charles Tomlinson --- Jeffrey Wainwright --- Robert Wells --- Matthew Welton --- Gregory Woods --- Jane Yeh


Launched as Poetry Nation, a twice-yearly hardback, in 1973, PN Review -- now an A4 paperback -- began quarterly publication in 1976 and has appeared six times a year since 1981 (PN Review 21). 185 issue of the magazine have now appeared. It is currently published from the department of English, University of Glasgow.

Each issue includes an editorial, letters, news and notes, articles, interviews, features, poems, translations, and a substantial book review section.

Poetry Nation was founded by Michael Schmidt and Professor Brian Cox at the Victoria University of Manchester. When it went quarterly, the title changed to PN Review and Cox and Schmidt were joined on the editorial board by Professor Donald Davie and C.H. Sisson. Brian Cox retired, followed some years later by Donald Davie and C.H. Sisson, since when the magazine has been under the General Editorship of Michael Schmidt.


From its inception, PN Review has been dedicated to three principles.

English poetry is a continuum in time and the practice as well as the reading of poetry benefit from a broad knowledge and understanding of the development of the art and craft.

English poetry is poetry in English. Nationalisms, the insistence on cultural separateness and division, impoverish poetry quite as much as colonial impositions do: PN Review is 'poésie sans frontiers', with an Anglo-Commonwealth and Anglo-American bias, and with a strong commitment to poetry in translation, past and present.

Anglo-American and European Modernisms provide their legacies.
The cover of PN Review 167 features an image by the Canadian artist Mary Harman What other editors have said:

'...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.' John Ashbery, Executive Editor, Art News

'The most important journal concerned with poetry, [it] is gaining its proper recognition, surrounding its admirably intellectual criticism with an even richer spread of actual poems.'Marilyn Butler, Editorial Board, Women: a cultural review

'...probably the cleverest of the current poetry magazines' Ian Hamilton, editor of the review and The New Review

'...worthy of careful reading and digestion, [...] with new poetry, translations, interviews and critical essays. A little daunting for the common reader, perhaps, but there are serious and intelligent minds behind it.' John Lehmann, editor of the London Magazine and Penguin New Writing 1946-1950

'Your magazine is excellent.' Octavio Paz, editor of Plural and Vuelta

'For thirty years, [it] has been the premier British poetry journal. Its coverage is broad and generous: from John Ashbery to new young English poets, from essays on Continental poetics and fiction to reviews of neglected poets both living and dead. At a time when poetry is largely neglected, [it] continues to make an eloquent case for its centrality to our culture.' Marjorie Perloff, Advisory Editor, American Poetry Review, Contemporary Literature, Oxford Poetry Review, Paideuma, Sulfur; Editorial Board, Modern Language Quarterly, Modernism/Modernity

'It would be fine to have a cultural revival based on Manchester instead of Oxbridge...' Edgell Rickword, editor Calendar of Modern Letters, Left Review, Scrutinies, Our Time

'...high-toned but bracing' Boyd Tonkin, Books Editor, The Independent

...its elevated stroppiness of tone and a sense of breaking new ground that I haven't come across for some time' W.L. Webb, literary editor, The Guardian
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