PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
PN Review Prize winners announced
Carcanet Press and PN Review are delighted to announce the winners of the first ever PN Review Prize. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

This poem is taken from PN Review 109, Volume 22 Number 5, May - June 1996.

A Short Story Alison Brackenbury


                          I
Hell has its parties. She has learnt their rules,
Bitter as smoke wreathes, urgent and expensive.
Arrive there late, so everybody feels
You have been somewhere more exciting. leave
Before the end; toss on exhausted air
The glittering name of someone who's not there.
You look confused! Though parties are a war,
Aren't they to meet someone, to smile, seduce,
Shake out your hair, dismiss what came before,
With deft back to old lovers, introduce
Yourself as free of blemish, grudges, strings:
Clasp the clean glass, then see what midnight brings?

Though she would recognise all that you say,
Quickened breath, the daring, the raw sweat,
This party is for writers. Even they
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image