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Most Read... Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Dannie Abse'In Highgate Woods' and Other Poems
(PN Review 209)
Sasha DugdaleJoy
(PN Review 227)
Matías Serra Bradfordinterviews Roger Langley The Long Question of Poetry: A Quiz for R.F. Langley
(PN Review 199)
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Welcome to PN Review, one of the outstanding literary magazines of our time.

'...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
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PN Review 235
Featured Report
In the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017
Kei Miller I HAVE LABOURED, like all Caribbean poets of my generation (if not all Caribbean writers), under the shadow of Derek Walcott. I was not always aware of this. Maybe if I had been, I would also have been resentful. In time, though, I would learn the things important for any Caribbean poet to make a way in the world today – always to have a Walcott anecdote at hand for interviews; to answer questions about him; to accept that reviewers and critics would read as ‘Walcottian’ some image, some line that I had written; humbly to acknowledge some way, however tenuous, in which his poetry had influenced mine. It hadn’t, though. Not really. Still, in reading through his own interviews and essays I would often find that he had been there before me. He had already thought through some thought that I was presently struggling with. He had thought it through carefully and had articulated, in a way that profoundly resonated with me, what it meant to be a poet from the Caribbean, what it meant to speak one language while committing another to the page; even what it meant to be a boy watching the Caribbean sun go down, knowing there was a whole wide world out there, and still not to be intimidated by your own ambition.  

Walcott had even lived in Jamaica for a few years. That was before I was born. Still, I like to imagine him on top of our Blue Mountains, hands outstretched like Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer, throwing his shadow across the entire Antilles – a shadow stretching across geography and time, across both future and history, a shadow so impressively large even poets ... read more
Dear Epistle
Anna Jackson FIRST PRIZE in the 2015 Pen America Prison Writing Competition went to a poem called ‘Dear Voyage’, by Brian Batchelor, a prisoner serving a life-sentence without parole.1 Letter-writing has long been important to prisoners, and poets writing from prison have often figured their poems as letters; Richard Lovelace’s ‘To Althea’ proclaims his freedom to love equal to the liberty of angels.2 Batchelor’s poem looks to a more final liberty, the voyage out of life itself.  If Lovelace’s poem proclaims all the world a world of liberty, so that even a prisoner is free within his prison cell so long as he lives and loves, Batchelor’s poem proclaims life itself a prison. ‘Dear crusted gravestone,’ he addresses his final destination, ‘Dear lichen / Dear vine, Dear dirt / ditch and spade […]’ It is an eerie and moving poem, and it is hardly surprising that the judges recognised the power of its tender ... read more
A Conversation with Carol Mavor
Emma Wilson READERS OF THIS MAGAZINE will be familiar with Carol Mavor’s work. I’ve long been drawn to her books because of their attention to the senses and emotions, both in the material she treats, and in her intimate, blossoming writing. We had the chance to meet in Cambridge last November and to share thoughts about childhood, about art objects, and about grief. We met in my college room where Carol was instantly drawn to the books around – Marie Darrieussecq, Lydia Davis – and to the paintings on the walls. The text offered here is an excerpt from what turned into a longer conversation.


EW: I want to start with childhood. Your work has looked so closely at the mothers and children in the photographs taken by Julia Margaret Cameron. Alice in Wonderland is one of the nursery books in your ... read more
Also in the magazine... Rod MenghamThe Point-Switch Mark ThompsonEmpson’s Mud & Blood Beverley Bie BrahicMadame Martin and I Emily GrosholzStargazing & Other Poems Andrew Wynn OwenSequence Iain BamforthA Very Little Ice Age: Impersonal Violence & Mental Recovery
Selected from the Archive...
A Lyric Voice at Bay Eavan Boland
Critics work in a text. Biographers work in the foreground and the background. And the critic's work is made much harder when the background has been overwritten by events, interpretations and frank and forgetful prejudice. At that point the critic has to do some double-jobbing in order to rescue the text from the biographical background and the reader's resistance.

Albert Gelpi has set himself a hard task.1 Cecil Day Lewis, at least at first glance, is a decidedly awkward subject. Before reading this book I would have said Day Lewis was a refugee from the 1930s: and Anglo-Irish Georgian, who admired Tom Moore and consorted with Auden. A gentlemanly Communist. A hopelessly lyric inhabitant of a hard-driving decade. A poet who didn't so much lose his identity as have it handed to him in fragments: national, poetic, ... read more
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