Press release: 19 January 2005

New Editor for Poetry Review

The Poetry Society is delighted to announce the appointment of Fiona Sampson as editor of Poetry Review. She will start in April, taking over from co-editors Robert Potts and David Herd, who have edited the magazine since Spring 2002.

Started in 1911, Poetry Review continues to be "a standard-bearer of quality" (Tony Frazer, Shearsman Books) and, as well as being the UK's bestselling poetry magazine, is hailed by Andrew Motion as "required reading".

Poetry Review has been at the forefront of many of the key artistic debates and movements in poetry and has an excellent track record in spotting new talent.

Sampson is determined to uphold this reputation. She says:

"I'm delighted to have been appointed as editor, and intend to help Poetry Review resist the Balkanisation of British poetry, risk engagement with poetic matter of all kinds, and seduce its readers with the most necessary of contemporary writing".

Amongst those excited by Fiona Sampson's appointment was Muriel Spark: "I think it wonderful that a woman editor is taking over again and I hope the new editor will be as successful in attracting good poetry to the Society as I believe I was, a way back in 1947." As a poet and editor Fiona Sampson certainly brings a wealth of experience to the role Her most recent books are: Travel Diary (Patuvacki Dnevnik) (Knixevna Akademija, Macedonia, 2004); Evening Brings Everything Back (translations of Jaan Kaplinski, Bloodaxe, 2004); A Fine Line: New Poetry from East and Central Europe (with Jean Boase-Beier and Alexandra Buchler: Arc, 2004); Folding the Real (Seren, 2001, published in Romanian by Editura Paralela 45, 2004); a chapbook, Hotel Casino (Aark Arts, 2004); and, forthcoming, The Distance Between Us (Seren, 2005, to be published in Macedonian by Magor, 2005 and Romanian by Cartea Romaniasca, 2005).

Sampson's poetry has been published and broadcast in more than a dozen languages. Awards include the 2003 Zlaten Prsten for international writing (Macedonian Foundation for Culture and Sciences), a Hawthornden Fellowship, the Newdigate Prize, and awards from the Arts Councils of England and Wales and the Society of Authors. She is the editor of Orient Express, a journal of contemporary writing from enlargement Europe.

Her pioneering residencies in health care - a field in which she still consults internationally - led to her doctorate on the social roles of poetry and to The Healing Word (The Poetry Society, 1999); The Self on the Page (with Celia Hunt, Jessica Kingsley, 1998, published in Hebrew by Ach, 2002); Creative Writing in Health and Social Care (Jessica Kingsley, 2004) and Creative Writing and the Writer (with Celia Hunt, Palgrave-Macmillan 2005). She has also written for radio and public art commissions.

Dr Sampson has a PhD in the philosophy of writing process (University of Nijmegen, 2001) and is AHRB Research Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at Oxford Brookes University and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sussex. She is a specialist in the literatures of post-communist Europe.

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