PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
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Welcome to PN Review, 'probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world' (John Ashbery)

'If one of the defining characteristics of most magazines is that, like most bands, they have a short shelf life, then PN Review is immediately uncharacteristic. It's been going so long that many of us have all but forgotten what the P and the N stand for. I think of them as opening and closing the word Provocation. And that's why I so love the magazine.' - Paul Muldoon

Keep up with the many worlds of poetry in this independent and always stimulating journal. For over 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 access the complete, uniquely rich digital archive. Poet-subscribers can submit their work by e-mail.

'The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK’s poetry magazines.' - Simon Armitage

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The latest copy of PN Review Issue 261 is now available to view on this website.

Anticipated publication dates for 2021:

Issue 257 January/February - published
Issue 258 March/April - published
Issue 259 May/June - published
Issue 260 July/August - published
Issue 261 September/October - published
Issue 262 November/December
PN Review 261
Featured Article
Thom Gunn Letters Colm Toibin on Thom Gunn Letters, edited by Michael Nott, August Kleinzahler and Clive Wilmer (Faber) £40 Colm Toíbín Even his name was a work in progress. On a facsimile of the first folio text of ‘Julius Caesar’, he signed himself Thomson William Gunn and added the date, October 1944, which means he was fifteen. On the first page of his copy of ‘The Poems of Alfred Tennyson 1830–1863’, he signed his name T.W. Gunn and gave the address as Covey Hall, Snodland, Kent, the house where he and his brother lived after their mother’s suicide in December 1944. In August 1947, when he was seventeen, he signed his name a simple Tom Gunn on the first page of his copy of ‘The British Drama’.

His sexual identity, in these early years, was also open to suggestion. John Lehmann was the first editor outside Cambridge to take anything he had written. In his short essay in tribute to Lehmann, Gunn admitted that he had ‘conveniently blocked…from memory’ what they spoke about in 1954 when they met for the first time. But Lehmann remembered. In the middle of ... read more
The Passionate Transitory
Vona Groarke ‘A true note on a dead slack string’ was how Patrick Kavanagh described poetry, but it all depends, I daresay, on what you mean by ‘true’. Poetry has an uneasy relationship with sincerity: too much, we say the poem is navel-gazing; the poet, self-obsessed. We decide that we find nothing there relevant or helpful to the lives the rest of us are trying, hard, to negotiate. Too little, and we think the poem glossy and insubstantial, with not sufficient purchase in one life to tell the truth of life.

(There’s often a performative element to sincerity: watch it watching itself from the wings, appraising its own authenticity, in parentheses.)

It’s a delicate balancing act. As poets, we seldom want a poem to be relevant to only ourselves: we thrive on the possibility that if we make it well enough, ... read more
The Gododdin: Lament for the Fallen, a version by Gillian Clarke (Faber) £14.99

At the end of the sixth century, the area in which Welsh was spoken reached as far north as Edinburgh. The names of five early Welsh poets are mentioned in chronicles. No work by Talhaearn Tad Awen (‘Father of inspiration’), Blwchfardd nor Cian Guenith Guaut (‘Cian, Wheat-Harvest of Song’) survives but we do have manuscript copies of poetry by Aneirin and Taliesin. Both wrote in the service of war lords engaged in power struggles with their Celtic rivals and also Saxons pushing up towards Northumbria and west to the Welsh Marches. Both write vividly about the spoils of war and the horror of defeat. Taliesin left twelve short poems, mainly dedicated to his patron Urien Rheged, praising his flourishing kingdom. The only work by Aneirin we have is Y Gododdin, a body of roughly a hundred and fifty verses which were ... read more
Selected from the Archive...
An Interview with Thom Gunn Jim Powell
Do you have a sense of an English audience for your work, or a sense of two audiences, English and American?

Audience has always been a difficult question for me. It's the last thing I think about. People used to ask did I feel I was an English poet or an American poet and I would always be wishy-washy about it. Then a few years ago I came across a reference to myself as an Anglo-American poet and I thought, "Yes, that's what I am. I'm an Anglo-American poet." So that resolves that question! I don't think of the audiences as being that different. What people say about me, and it's probably true, is that in many of my poems I write about an American subject matter in an English way, by which they mean metrical ... read more
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