PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue John McAuliffe poems and conversation Charles Dobzynski translated by Marilyn Hacker Maya C. Popa in conversation with Caroline Bird Richard Gwyn With Lowry in Cuernavaca Jane Draycott Four Poems
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Welcome to PN Review, 'probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world' (John Ashbery)

'If one of the defining characteristics of most magazines is that, like most bands, they have a short shelf life, then PN Review is immediately uncharacteristic. It's been going so long that many of us have all but forgotten what the P and the N stand for. I think of them as opening and closing the word Provocation. And that's why I so love the magazine.' - Paul Muldoon

Keep up with the many worlds of poetry in this independent and always stimulating journal. For over four decades PN Review has been a place to discover new poems in English and in translation as well as interviews, news, essays, reviews and reports from around the world. Subscribers can access the complete, uniquely rich digital archive. Poet-subscribers can submit their work by e-mail.

'The most engaged, challenging and serious-minded of all the UK’s poetry magazines.' - Simon Armitage

A PN Review subscription makes an excellent gift, with six issues a year and full access to the archive. Reduced rates are available for students.

To purchase the latest issue of PN Review, follow this link.
PN Review 253
Featured Poem
In Praise Of Birds Vahni Capildeo In praise of high-contrast birds, purple bougainvillea thicketing the golden oriole.

In praise of civic birds, vultures cleansing the valleys, hummingbird logos on the tails of propeller planes; in praise of adaptable birds, the herring gull that demonstrates its knowledge of how to use a box junction, and seems to want to cross the road.

In praise of birds eaten by aeroplane engines; in praise of birds trained to hunt drones; in praise of birds that, having nothing to do with human processes, crash aeroplanes.

In praise of suicidal birds, brown ground doves forgetful of wingèdness, in front of cars, slowly crossing the road.

In praise of perse birds like fish smashing out of a bowl.

In praise of talk being cheep, and in praise of men who shut up about birds.

In praise of birds of death and communication, Garuda the almost-but-more-than-an-eagle vehicle of the darkly bejewelled and awfully laughing Lord of Death.

In praise of badly drawn birds.

In praise of white egrets, sitting on mud, hippos, and lines about old age.

In praise of Old English birds of exile, the gannet’s laughter, swathes of remembered seabirds booming and chuckling, the urgent cuckoo blazing on about summer, mournful and mindblowing, driving the sailor over the edge towards impossible targets, scornful of gardens, salty about city life – I can’t stand not setting off; far is seldom far enough.
... read more
On the Surface of Events Rereading the Book of Jonah
Iain Bamforth When I was small and Biblical and made to realise that my Brethren parents saw no nuance in the matter of salvation – either you were swallowed whole by giant belief or spat out among the unsaved – I was irresistibly drawn to the story of Jonah’s going down to the lower deck of the ship taking him from Joppa to Tarshish. He is trying to reach the latter place, which present-day historians believe to have been the city of Carthage or a port on a trading island in the western Mediterranean, perhaps Sardinia, in order to avoid the divine command to get up and go to the glittering capital of the Assyrian empire, Nineveh – ‘that great city, and cry against it’. Nineveh lay overland, in the opposite direction altogether.

Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, Jonah is trying to hide ... read more
Unstated Empson Looking for Traces of the Chinese Poetic Tradition
Diana Bridge

‘twittering ghosts’


Months ago, reading a review of William Empson’s The Face of the Buddha in the pages of this magazine (PNR 232), my eye was caught by an excerpt from the book that should have been Empson’s third but was eventually published seventy years after it was completed. Empson wrote of a ceramic luohan (saint or sage in the Buddhist pantheon) observed at the Royal Academy in 1935, that the figure ‘seemed…so much alive that it turned the people looking at it in the London Exhibition into twittering ghosts’. In his review, Mark Thompson suggested that Eliot’s ‘twittering world’ stood behind Empson’s response and connected it to the language and ambience of Burnt Norton. Empson’s China background brings up a possible additional source.

Empson used the arresting phrase when revising the manuscript of his book in the 1940s, ... read more
Also in the magazine... Jenny KingMoving Day and other poems Walter BrunoOnce more on Value and English Lit. Phoebe PowerOnce More the Sea Richard GwynErnesto Cardenal and Sir Francis Drake Tara Berginon Poetry of the Holocaust Christine Roseeta WalkerThree Poems
Selected from the Archive...
in conversation with Natalia Ginzburg Tim Parks After a hopeless night in a couchette the train was two hours late arriving. I had to rush across a Rome I don't know to get to my appointment on time. My tape recorder had already decided not to work and I was relieved. My motive, anyway, in arranging this interview had been more to have an excuse to meet a writer whose work I admire than to achieve a journalistic scoop, and tape recorders are embarrassing. Thus the interview was noted down immediately afterwards between showers of spring rain on the steps of Piazza di Spagna.

Ginzburg was not disappointing. Small, white-haired, bright-eyed and modestly dressed, she met me in her office at the publishers Einaudi. Forthright in general and self-effacing as far as her own work was concerned, she was quick to say she didn't know as ... read more
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