Foreword by Michael Schmidt, Editor of PN Review

The life expectancy of poetry magazines is often a butterfly’s span. Few reach ten issues, fewer still a hundred. To reach 250 issues over five decades is evidence of editorial tenacity and conviction. The twenty-five poems collected here are by poets who have been part of a long journey which has included an IRA bomb that destroyed the editorial offices in 1996, the turn of a millennium, the birth of the electric typewriter, the laptop computer and digital media, and much more. Four of the poets here featured in the very first issue of Poetry Nation (1973), and four feature in the 250th issue (November-December 2019). Paul Muldoon said, ‘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.’ Here are poets who saw service in the First and Second World Wars and others who are relative newcomers on the poetry stage. Voices speak from the four corners of the Anglophone world. The poems celebrate risk and continuity. We celebrate with twenty-five memorable discoveries and epiphanies.

PN Review

The Lost Woman - Patricia Beer
Dying - Tara Bergin
A Different History - Sujata Bhatt
Bookkeeping - Alison Brackenbury
On Not Writing As A West Indian Woman - Vahni Capildeo
Dad - Elaine Feinstein
Elegy for a Soldier - Marilyn Hacker
Next Door Despised - Sophie Hannah
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era - Oli Hazzard
Inscription for a Scented Garden for the Blind - John Heath Stubbs
Rembrandt’s Late Self-Portraits - Elizabeth Jennings
Rubaiyat - Mimi Khalvati
Blues for Titania - RF Langley
The Polar Explorer’s Love Song - Bill Manhire
Elegy of the Flowing Touch - Christopher Middleton
What the evangelist should have said - Kei Miller

1801

Read by Sinead Morrissey

1801 - Sinead Morrissey - Read by Sinead Morrissey
Soldiers Bathing - F T Prince
You’ve Ruined My Evening / You’ve Ruined My Life - Tom Raworth
Rhapsody on Red Admirals - Edgell Rickword
Snakeshead Fritillaries - Anne Ridler
The Nondescript - Peter Scupham
The Usk - C. H. Sisson
A Rose for Janet - Charles Tomlinson
The only confirmed cast member is Ook the Owl, who has been tapped to play the snowy white owl who delivers mail for Harry - Jane Yeh
On Not Writing As A West Indian Woman - Vahni Capildeo
Dad - Elaine Feinstein
Elegy for a Soldier - Marilyn Hacker
Next Door Despised - Sophie Hannah
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era - Oli Hazzard
Inscription for a Scented Garden for the Blind - John Heath Stubbs
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