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Most Read... Geoffrey HillIl Cortegiano: F.T. Prince's Poems (1938)
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David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
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Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
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Welcome to PN Review, one of the outstanding literary magazines of our time. Keep up with the many worlds of poetry in this independent and always stimulating journal. For four decades PN Review has been a place to discover new poems in English and in translation as well as interviews, news, essays, reviews and reports from around the world. Subscribers can explore the complete, uniquely rich digital archive.

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Featured Article
Approaching Mannequins Vahni Capildeo Possession

What is there to say except ‘You must go, darlings!’ What is there to answer except ‘Shall we?’ Silent Partners: Artist & Mannequin from Function to Fetish is on at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge from 14 October 2014 until 25 January 2015. So on a balmy autumn day, Slash and Jay and I met on the gravelled path outside the entrance, walked in, and stopped. We stopped dead, and exchanged haunted looks. It didn’t click that what was about to happen was already happening: we had begun to embody clichés. The exhibition, before we had seen a single piece, was turning us into its pieces: its intellectual provocation to think about death and inertia and reproducibility was exercising a physical effect on us, halting our fleshly steps.

Memory spoke: the masculine London voice of a young novelist giving a lecture. ‘If you ... read more
‘The Gold Pistol’ and Other Poems
Yusef Komunyakaa The Gold Pistol

There’s always someone who loves gold
bullion, boudoirs, & bathtubs, always
some dictator hiding in a concrete culvert
crying, Please don’t shoot, a high priest
who mastered false acts & blazonry,
the drinking of a potion after bathing
in slow oils of regret, talismans & amulets
honed to several lifetimes of their own,
the looting of safes & inlaid boxes of jewels,
... read more
Jan Kott and the 1960s Theatre Revolution
David Herman Jan Kott, wrote Peter Brook in his Preface to the English translation of Shakespeare Our Contemporary, ‘is undoubtedly the only writer on Elizabethan matters who assumes without question that every one of his readers will at some point or other have been woken by the police in the middle of the night’.

Brook first met the Polish drama critic Jan Kott in Warsaw. Their encounter ‘ended at about four o’clock in the morning with Kott and myself in the supreme headquarters of the Polish police’. Brook noticed that the police were calling his new friend ‘Professor’. ‘“Professor of what?” I asked as we walked home through the silent town. “Of drama,” he replied.’1

From the beginning Brook sensed something thrilling about Kott, as a person and as a theatre critic. For Brook, and later for many of his readers, Kott ... read more
Selected from the Archive...
Reading the Americans: Apart and Together Jeffrey Wainwright
THAT there is a lout in Walt Whitman, as C. H. Sisson asserts (Parnassus, Spring/Summer 1978) is something few of his admirers would deny. The loiterer, the loafer, the awkward fellow, strolls through Song of Myself and much of his work, most notoriously sniffing his own armpits and generally displaying a crudity which, as Ezra Pound said, 'is an exceeding great stench'. This character is, as we say in England, all mouth. But there are other characters called Walt Whitman in that poetry. For ever identifying and expanding into other experience, there are yet moments of acute self-consciousness and an awareness of almost culpable detachment. 'I witness the corpse with its dabbled hair, I note where the pistol has fallen.' The adjective 'dabbled' with its suggestion of damp and of being messed with, is an instance of poetic precision ... read more
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