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'...probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.'
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PN Review 241
Featured Article
the Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume
Kei Miller

THERE IS A POEM from The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion that I almost never read in England. There is something of the volume of that poem which seems out of place – even crude – in the supposed quiet of a British landscape. It is poem xxiii, in which the Rastaman chants most loudly, calling for the fall of Babylon – a proper nyabinghi chant, a summoning of fire and brimstone. The first time I read that poem in public was in Trinidad. I really was in no state to give a reading that night. Thirty hours earlier, I had been in the Middle East – in Northern Iraq, giving poetry workshops in the shadow of bombed-out buildings. I had flown a torturous route – Iraq to Vienna, Vienna to London, then London to Trinidad. My body was confused by all the climate changes – starting from the dry desert, going through the last strains of a European winter, and deposited at last into the tropical heat of the Caribbean. I should have gone straight to sleep, but instead they drove me from the airport to the reading venue. I am not certain now why I chose to read that particular bit of verse; perhaps it was an instinctive knowing that some poems have within them their own energy and need little help from their readers. Still it surprised me how, given voice, the poem was such a different animal from how it sat tamely on the page. It wasn’t the poem’s own volume that surprised me, but how it in turn elicited volume. It seemed to ask for a chorus of chanters ... read more
Three Poems
Maryann Corbett Creed

When I haul my carcass up from my creaking knees
to mumble the old form
(stubbing my tongue on the brick of a new translation)

humble me, Lord, to accept the awkward history
of these your mysteries,
a plotline tangled as the morning news,

a bitterness in the mouth. First, Constantine,
pig-headed in the face of disagreement,
yelling ‘Impious fool!’
... read more
from The Notebooks of Arcangelo Riffis
Marius Kociejowski My friend, several months before he died, asked if he could request a favour of me and, mindful of the extraordinary demands he made from time to time, I said it depended on what that favour was. ‘When I die,’ he whispered, ‘I want you to plunge a dagger into my heart.’ It would have to be a dagger, of course, a poetical blade, and not an ordinary serrated kitchen knife. This once most physically strong of men slowly moved his weakly clenched fist to his chest three times in a stabbing motion. There was some particular awfulness in his eyes. ‘I don’t want to be buried alive,’ he murmured. I waited a little. I waited a bit more. ‘Why are you depriving me,’ I asked him, ‘of the pleasure of doing it now?’ Arcangelo Riffis smiled the flicker of a smile he often made when caught between resignation and sheer exasperation with me. ... read more
Also in the magazine... Parwana FayyazFour Poems Gabriel JosipoviciAharon Appelfeld Craig RaineA Sequence and Six Poems Ruth Hawthornon Robert Lowell Sasha Dugdaleon Nuar Alsadir and Leontia Flynn Jane Draycotton Five Pamphlets
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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