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PN Review 275
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'probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world' - John Ashbery

During 2023 PN Review is celebrating its jubilee. Find all our anniversary plans here. Since we started as Poetry Nation, a twice-yearly hardback, in 1973, we've been publishing new poetry, rediscoveries, commentary, literary essays, interviews and reviews from around the globe.

Our vast archive now includes over 270 issues, with contributions from some of the most important writers of our times. Key contributors include Octavio Paz, Laura Riding, John Ashbery, Patricia Beer, W.S. Graham, Eavan Boland, Jorie Graham, Donald Davie, C.H. Sisson, Sinead Morrissey, Sasha Dugdale, Anthony Vahni Capildeo, and many others.

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PN Review 275
Featured Article
Baby Earth Environmentalism Isabel Galleymore By purchasing a pair of socks recommended for the purpose, I saved this Earth on Tuesday. Today, stopping by at my former school for their Earth Day fête, I’m at it again. Helping to fund an insect hotel in the school’s playground, I hand over £1.50 for a planet Earth cupcake. Squidgily rendered in vanilla buttercream, its continents and oceans threaten to melt on this unusually warm spring day. For the first time this year, I’ve left the house without my coat. A few seagulls circle above. Strolling between the stalls set out in the car park and feeling mildly confused as to why every day isn’t an Earth Day, I messily eat the planet.

This annual celebration of Earth that raises awareness of the need to protect the environment began on 22 April 1970, just a few years after the planet was first photographed from space. In the recorded conversation between members of the Apollo 8 crew, there’s clear excitement at the prospect of capturing the world through the camera lens. Taking part ... read more
The Twelve Days of Christmas Report from Trinidad
Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo This report comes to you from a little blue room of birds. The south wall consists of bookshelves above two built-in cupboards. An inbuilt gap in the middle allows the shelves to double as a desk. Nobody has used it as a desk. This report is being written on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. Warned by an angel, the Magi – the three wise men, astronomers ‘of colour’, as some would say now, more attentive to skin tone than aware of where on earth knowledge of the skies anciently was located – flee King Herod’s land. They had meant well. They arrived with happy news of a kingly child. What a thing to tell a reigning king. Herod ‘had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men’. (Matthew 2:16, Jerusalem Bible). ... read more
1939: Before Darkness Fell*
Ian Thomson ‘No one knew that this was to be the infamous year of the Munich Pact, but everyone knew that soon there would be a new world war…’

Delmore Schwartz, ‘New Year’s Eve’

Delmore Schwartz, ‘New Year’s Eve’, Erich Haugas and his sisters Benita and Ella

Erich Haugas and his sisters Benita and Ella

In the summer of 1939 my grandfather Erich Haugas took part in an international agricultural conference in Budapest. He was thirty-eight and his professional pride was flattered. As a chemist he was in charge of the Dairy Export Control Station laboratory in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. To his untravelled eyes this was the trip of a lifetime: Budapest was the last stretch of Western ‘civilization’ before the East and the closest to a West European capital many Estonians would ever get. ... read more
Also in the magazine... James WomackThe City, an Argument Marilyn HackerSequence Darío JaramilloConversations with God Horatio MorpurgoSemyon Lipkin and the Russia That Must Be There Somewhere Tara Berginon Leontia Flynn and Susannah Dickey
Selected from the Archive...
Notes on a Viking Prow Christopher Middleton
TO RECAPTURE poetic reality in a tottering world, we may have to revise, once more, the idea of a poem as an expression of the "contents" of a subjectivity. Some poems, at least, and some types of poetic language, constitute structures of a singularly radiant kind, where "self-expression" has undergone a profound change of function. We experience these structures, if not as revelations of being, then as apertures upon being. We experience them as we experience nothing else.

Yet we say that a poetic text is not this or that thing out there. We say that such a virtual thing as a text is not an actual thing, that it is not even thing-like at all. Or we say that this or that text occupies an interface between things and persons, but has its ontological status only ... read more
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