Vol 110, No 2, Summer 2020

The time of a poetry magazine is glacial compared with an online news platform. Taking into account the reading period and the magazine’s lead time, any poem in a given issue of The Poetry Review is unlikely to have been written any sooner than some months prior to the publication date. But poems know things; the best poems don’t exist in linear time the way their writers usually do. At the virtual National Poetry Competition celebration in March, Maurice Riordan (one of the judges) commented on the staying power of the winning poems, which had been written and selected pre-pandemic. While I can’t recall his exact words, he said in effect that a good poem transcends its moment and is renewed with fresh meaning in the wake of future events. And of course, the world has never been short of real and imagined catastrophes.

from Emily Berry’s Editorial


Jodie Hollander, Storm
D. Nurkse, Letter from the Foothills, The Operation
Jack Underwood, Poem Beginning with Lines from Ye Hongxiang, What Happened Here?
András Gerevich / Andrew Fentham, Nikolai’s Episode, Health in Disease
Lily Blacksell, Bounty
Elaine Beckett, Thursday, Sea Creature Regrows Entire Body
Sarah Fletcher, Blowjob
Amaan Hyder, how do we live
Jane Zwart, A Finding
Moniza Alvi, from Fairoz
James Conor Patterson, [prosthetics]
Isabelle Baafi, hotboxing
Tom Jenks, Monsieur Dupont, Dreamcoat
Nicola Healey, Integument
Gregory Leadbetter, Labels for the Exhibition of an Hitherto Private Cabinet of Masks
Rachel Long, Red Hoover, from A Lineage of Wigs,

Prose and Art from Poetry

Invitation to Vision: Elizabeth M. Mills on Paintings by A.R. Ammons
Gallery: Watercolours by A.R. Ammons
Tactile Art by John Lee Clark
The Ebbing Language by Sadiqa de Meijer


The Possum and the Salamander: T.S. Eliot and Marianne Moore by Hugh Haughton
Stretched Professors and Nameless Doors: The Campus Poem by Anna Woodford


David Wheatley on Kathleen Raine’s Collected Poems
Emma Bird on selected poems and prose by Srinivas Rayaprol
Carol Rumens on Astrid Alben, Geraldine Clarkson and Alison Winch
Rory Waterman reviews Don Paterson and Medbh McGuckian
Stephanie Sy-Quia reviews Mina Gorji and Seán Hewitt
Marek Sullivan on Rainie Oet and Crispin Best
Declan Ryan on Eliza Griswold and Stephen Knight
Zakia Carpenter-Hall reviews Seni Seneviratne and Colette Bryce
Kayo Chingonyi on Sharon Olds and Major Jackson

The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2019, judged by Fiona Benson and awarded to Phoebe Stuckes Read her poem ‘Paris’

Cover artwork by Anna Jensen