Vol 110, No 1, Spring 2020

We worked on this guest-edited issue of The Poetry Review from December 2019 through to February 2020, following a dispiriting general election in the UK and amid a sense of ecological and social crisis worldwide. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that across these poems certain images recur: borders and bluebells, water and weather, dairy and diaries. These are poems that inhabit the milieu they were written in, capturing the anxiety, alienation and complicity that characterise our present moment. Though there are no solutions on offer, they bear out – through the prose poem, the lyric, as well as other received and disrupted forms – Dorothy Wang’s argument that “history’s relationship to poetry [is] one that inheres in the very forms of poems”.

from Mary Jean Chan and Will Harris’s Editorial


Samantha Walton, from Bad Moon, Pando Read Samantha’s ‘Behind the Poem’ essay
Jinhao Xie, in the mood for love
Sara Saab, Citybreak
Thomas McCarthy, The One Leaf
Hugh Foley, Summary
Chen Chen, Spring Summer Autumn Winter
Lee Hyemi / So J. Lee, World of Breaths
Yomi Ṣode, How It Started
Dana Swensen, The Injection Lesson
Devon Walker-Figueroa, Gallowed Be
Jo Morris Dixon, Golden Shovel
Joseph Minden, Bluebells
Vahni Capildeo, An Outpouring
Wayne Holloway-Smith, The fear will make the meat grow closer don’t be scared
Nadia de Vries, White Meat
Helen Charman, from In the Pleasure Dairy Read Helen’s ‘Behind the Poem’ essay
Maureen N. McLane, Eels, Crows
Leo Boix, Pyramids in Sand #2 (“Houses, streets, miles of pavements”), 1997
Adam O. Davis, Windmills
Nick Makoha, Codex 1, Codex 2
Joe Carrick-Varty, Sambas for Christmas
Hannah Lowe, The Art of Teaching
Ed Luker, Yoga
Nicholas Wong, That World, According to Keanu Reeves
R.A. Villanueva, Anthropocene
Linda Gregerson, Epithalamion
Raymond Antrobus, Antrobus / Land Of Angels
Mona Arshi, Interim Relief
Sandeep Parmar, The Nineties
D.S. Marriott, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

The National Poetry Competition 2019


Nisha Ramayya: Notes on a means Without End
Momtaza Mehri: Dispatches From the Black Gulf


Yasmine Seale on erasing and remaking The Thousand and One Nights


Ralf Webb on poetry publishing and class
Dorothy Wang on poetry’s relationship to violence and power


Stephanie Sy-Quia reviews new collections by Jacqueline Saphra, Juana Adcock and Dunya Mikhail
Jay G. Ying on a new Asian diaspora anthology
Niall Munro on Maya C. Popa, Danez Smith and Rae Armantrout
Nat Raha reviews Callie Gardner’s Naturally, It Is Not
Joanna Lee on new pamphlets by Maria Sledmere, Anna Danielewicz, Rishi Dastidar, Sascha Aurora Akhtar and Nick On
Srishti Krishnamoorthy-Cavell on Kathleen Jamie’s Selected Poems
and a collaboration between Harriet Tarlo and Judith Tucker
Lucy Mercer reviews Jennifer Wong, Janette Ayachi and Alan Buckley
Alycia Pirmohamed on two new anthologies of contemporary Irish and Scottish poetry
Theophilus Kwek on Raúl Zurita, Tsvetanka Elenkova and Yu Yoyo