Press release: 21 July 2005

Poet as Traveller - the first issue of Poetry Review under its new editor Fiona Sampson launched on 21st July.

Poetry Review, the oldest and most widely-read poetry journal in the UK, is published by the Poetry Society. Though editorially independent since it was founded by Harold Munro in 1912, the Review shares the Society's aim of "helping poets and poetry thrive in Britain today". Fiona Sampson - the first woman editor since Muriel Spark in 1947-9 - says PR achieves this by publishing "the best poetry and the most important essays and reviews" in Britain today.

The new-look Poetry Review includes:

  • whole-issue themes linking writing across groups, generations and genres;
  • a greater emphasis on poetry - nearly 60 pages including O'Brien, Deane, Lewis, Stainer, Stammers, Sweeney, Williams;
  • international writing and poetry in translation to contextualise the best British work: including Nigerian poets in Conversation; Tomas Salamun; Marie-Claire Bancquart; translations from Persian, Maltese, Polish and the Latin of Catullus;
  • Centrefold, an essay section dedicated to the developing the poet's essay rather than simply critical practice. Shukman and Burnside go off the beaten track in the San Blas Islands and the American Mid-West respectively;
  • the indispensible reviews section;
  • a quarterly letter from -;
  • features from the archive in PR Jukebox.

Fiona Sampson says, "Poetry Review's authority is built on an ability to represent the best contemporary practice against the grain of personal taste: poetries which fail to read beyond their own borders ultimately speak only for and to themselves. This failure of poetic nerve fails readers and poetry alike."

- Ends -

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