Volume 107, No 1, Spring 2017

The Poetry Review spring 2017

When the forces of division rule, I want to find ways of adding up again. Audre Lorde wrote, “Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were expected to kneel to thought as women were expected to kneel to men.” Who can say what precise configuration of thought and feeling is found in any one poem; perhaps their very relation confers its “subtle electricity” – Wallace Stevens’s “thought / Beating in the heart” – like that found in Layli Long Soldier’s powerful ‘Whereas Statements’, which call to account the legislative language of oppression: “Whereas I have spent my life in unholding. What do you mean by unholding? Whereas asks and since Whereas rarely asks, I am moved to respond”. The Chilean poet Cecilia Vicuña reminded us once, “Words have a love for each other, a desire that culminates in poetry.”

from Emily Berry’s Editorial


Gillian Allnutt, abutment, magdalen, Portrait of Hester by her husband
Kate Potts, Catalogue of Strange Fish
Nicola Healey, Uncovered Bones, Sacred Hunger
Patrick Cotter, O’Sullivan  Read what Patrick says is ‘Behind the poem’
Raymond Antrobus, Sound Machine
Mary Jean Chan, what my mother (a poet) might say, Tea Ceremony  
Lucy Tunstall, Torch Song, Kaftan, The Patient  Read what Lucy says is ‘Behind the poem’
Yael Hacohen, The Weight of a Jericho 941, What I Forgot from My Wars
Khairani Barokka, Flood Season, Jakarta, Ramadhan
Gary Allen, The Great California Condor
Zhou Zan / Jennifer Wong, Her, Morning sun, Sketch of a Cat
Fleur Adcock, Carterton
James Warner, Der Stimmenimitator
Joe Dunthorne, Sweetheart underwater

Poems from Poetry

Angel Nafis, Ghazal for Becoming Your Own Country
Peter Gizzi, A Winding Sheet for Summer
Jennifer Bartlett, from ‘The Hindrances of a Householder’
Alison C. Rollins, Why Is We Americans
Jameson Fitzpatrick, I Woke Up
Sylvia Legris, Cold Zodiac and Butchered Pig
Tyehimba Jess, Sissieretta Jones
Aracelis Girmay, luam/asa-luam
Johnny Damm, Diagram of a Memory, Diagram of How I Felt When You Told Me I Look Like Him
Vi Khi Nao, Fish Carcass
John Maucere / John Lee Clark, The Friend
Layli Long Soldier, from ‘Whereas’

The National Poetry Competition 2016


Manifestos by A.K. Blakemore, Kei Miller and Rita Ann Higgins
The Poetry Society Annual Lecture by Jan Wagner
Perspective: Joanne Limburg on writing and autism


Joe Kennedy considers the politics of poetry in three anthologies
Sandeep Parmar on Currently & Emotion, an anthology of translations    
Carol Rumens on Roy Fisher, Deryn Rees-Jones and John Riley    
Prudence Chamberlain on Eileen Myles’s I Must Be Living Twice    
Trevor Barnett on translations of Joan Margarit and Luna Miguel
M. Lynx Qualey considers translations of Al-Saddiq al-Raddi and Adnan al-Sayegh        
Kayombo Chingonyi reviews debuts by Roy McFarlane, Safiya Sinclair and Rebecca Watts        
Jonathan Davidson on Eleanor Hooker, Philip Gross and Alison Brackenbury        
Sophie Mayer reviews Rachael Boast and MacGillivray
Karen McCarthy Woolf considers the art of collaboration: Derek Walcott and Peter Doig, Kwame Dawes and John Kinsella    

Cover image: Sophy Hollington