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Welcome to PN Review, one of the outstanding literary magazines of our time.

'...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
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Submissions to PN Review: Current subscribers may submit work by e-mail (word attachment). All other submissions should be made by post to: The Editors, PN Review, 4th Floor, Alliance House, 30 Cross Street, Manchester M2 7AQ, UK. Submissions should be accompanied by a self-addressed return envelope and should generally not exceed four poems/five pages.

PN Review 242
Featured Poem
Like, Elizabeth Bishop Delivered by the Oxford Professor of Poetry on 1 March 2018, Examination Schools, Oxford Simon Armitage I’LL BEGIN WITH A FEW QUOTES, all taken from Geography III. Here’s the first:

Iberia in shape resembles
a stretched-out hide, its breadth
running north to south,
the neck pointing east.

And the second quote:

The same is true of whales
... read more
Love and Data O Brave New World, That Has Such Data In’t
(Love and Self-Understanding in an Algorithmic Age)
To keep a diary is to court externality. The world enters our bodies as event and perception. In writing a diary we grasp what happened to us, through emotion, thought and memory, and give those inner blooms an external existence on the page. Yesterday’s encounter with a stranger re-emerges in ink: but focused, considered, in some way understood.

Diaries and the new generations of biometric monitor share unlikely kinship. Both read the mind’s movements; both take the heart’s temperature. Children – girls especially – are encouraged to chronicle their days in a journal. Some entries are addressed to the diary itself, as if self-revelation were a dialogue with the mute page. Experience is made to speak. The child listens to herself.

Hand the child a calculator, and we may take away her need, perhaps even her desire, to walk a mental path through the queer, abstract forest of numerical symbols. 3 x 4 = 12 becomes an operation for the fingers alone, a simple task of data entry. The computation is carried out by the machine. In days to come, we may give the child a biometric monitor – they come in child sizes – and let her grow up with it. But will we change how she interprets the racing of her heart? For she may choose to push a button to read her state of mind, to tell her what it is she feels.

When I speak with you, I speak with a world; I speak with an ecology. Within that space of recognition, talking together is as sensual an experience as venturing into places one’s never been before: an undiscovered country, and a deeply human country.

When we talk with an artificial intelligence in the not-too-distant future, we may discover new realms beyond the human – new cognitive and even emotional places, made possible by maths and abstraction. We may forget that the voice was first compiled from a panoply of once-recorded humanness: the externalised, discretised, digitised, optimised expressions of the living.

A machine may be changed by its interaction with us – by definition, machine learning learns by processing – but what it takes from us is data, not experience. The complex of emotion, perception, memory and thought that we know as ‘experience’ remains, for now, the preserve of those living in the flesh. The intertwining of two people in an intimate dialogue is a coupling of experience with experience to make a greater than.

Discretisation, optimisation and control: the world of AI is a mathematician’s delight. Take a stream of information with an undetermined number of attributes, mirroring the rich sensory modes of our perception. AI applies a complex analysis to the stream. It comes up with a set of factors that can each be controlled – that is, turned on or off – based on the optimal ‘weight’, or ‘cost’, of each on/off decision.
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Interview with Loretta Collins Klobah ‘Sentient of how we are related’
Loretta Collins Klobah talks Ricantations
Vahni Capildeo Still, we feel new incantations of something
primal in us, allied by our hurricane grief,
disordered, but sentient of how we are related, neighbours,
iguanas, honey bees, bats, birds, trees, islands.
What is possible now? Can we do some things
differently now?
                                        — Loretta Collins Klobah, ‘Ricantations’

Your first book, The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman, appeared from Peepal Tree Press (Leeds) in 2011. Can you say something about your beginnings with that book?

The poems based in Puerto Rico take their subjects and energy from Santurce and Barrio Obrero (areas of San Juan), and Old San Juan; the urban forest; bomba dancing, narcoculture, street graffiti; and our history. Other poems range several of the Caribbean islands, Peckham and Notting Hill in London, and a bus terminal in Chicago. They touch on ... read more
Selected from the Archive...
A Lyric Voice at Bay Eavan Boland
Critics work in a text. Biographers work in the foreground and the background. And the critic's work is made much harder when the background has been overwritten by events, interpretations and frank and forgetful prejudice. At that point the critic has to do some double-jobbing in order to rescue the text from the biographical background and the reader's resistance.

Albert Gelpi has set himself a hard task.1 Cecil Day Lewis, at least at first glance, is a decidedly awkward subject. Before reading this book I would have said Day Lewis was a refugee from the 1930s: and Anglo-Irish Georgian, who admired Tom Moore and consorted with Auden. A gentlemanly Communist. A hopelessly lyric inhabitant of a hard-driving decade. A poet who didn't so much lose his identity as have it handed to him in fragments: national, poetic, ... read more
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