1. Magma Competition celebratory evening at Keats House

    Written by Wes Brown at 12:46 pm

    Why not join us for a celebratory evening with Magma Competition judge and special guest Jo Shapcott at Keats House on Friday March 27th, 7-8.30pm, when the winners of the 2014/15 Magma Competition will read their prizewinning poems.

    Venue: Nightingale Room, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR (nearest station: Hampstead Heath Overground / ten minutes walk from Hampstead tube station)

    Doors open 6.30 pm. FREE admission includes a glass of wine, but donations welcome. Please RSVP here or contact sales@magmapoetry.com for more information. 

  2. Magma 60: The Newcastle Launch

    Written by Rob Mackenzie at 8:32 am

    Newcastle’s Lit & Phil isn’t easy to describe. It’s a beautiful building that harbours expansive rooms, mezzanines, corridors and hideaways, bookshelves against every wall packed with books. The photos below will give a flavour but I’d advise anyone to check out the Lit and Phil for themselves if they are ever in Newcastle. The readings were exceptional. The poets each read a few poems of their own and one written by someone else on the Magma 60 theme of freedom, and these choices proved distinctive and exciting. Here are the readers in order with a very short extract from their Magma 60 poem:

    Tony Williams was MC for the first half and read a few sentences from W.H. Auden’s introduction to the anthology ‘Poems of Freedom’ (Victor Gollancz, 1938)

  3. Magma 60 Launches: from London to Newcastle

    Written by Rob Mackenzie at 12:53 pm

    Tonight (Thurs 11 December 2014) is the Newcastle launch of Magma 60. If you’re in the vicinity, do come along to the Lit & Phil (23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 1SE) at 7pm for a sterling line-up (free of charge). Our main guest reader is Sean O’Brien, whose Magma 60 prose article ‘Freedom and Responsibility’ is a provocative, stimulating examination of the responsibilities people have to poetry and language. Reading alongside him will be Magma 60 contributors Peter Armstrong, Janette Ayachi, Tessa Berring, Carole Bromley, Marjorie Lotfi Gill and James McGonigal, who will each read three poems and a poem by someone else on the theme of freedom. So brave the hostile weather! It will be worth it.

    The London launch on 28 November at the LRB Bookshop was terrific and showcased the immense talent within the covers of the issue. The venue was relaxed and convivial and the audience seemed to enjoy the readings if comments afterwards are anything to go by. Here are photographs of a selection of the readers below.

  4. Magma 60 and its launch events in London and Newcastle

    Written by Rob A Mackenzie at 6:00 pm

    Freedom is a word so big, or so close to us, that perhaps we don’t even see it. Certainly the poems that arrived in response to our call for poems on the theme of ‘Freedom’ were so various that often we couldn’t decide if a poem was supposed to address the theme at all. But the best of them enacted, across the gamut of political, personal, geographical and cultural life, the human freedom of the careful and electric word. The prose pieces consider freedom from a range of viewpoints. Sean O’Brien’s piece, for Magma’s National Conversation project, reminds us that freedom entails responsibility. This year’s Forward Prize winner Kei Miller considers freedom and travel. Gwen Adshead discusses how Larkin was able to express the unsayable. Tishani Doshi, in dialogue with Elizabeth Bishop, has an urge “to engrave the words on cages”. And Matthew Sweeney remembers the great constraining freedom of collaborating with the late John Hartley Williams. We are also pleased to offer work by this year’s Eric Gregory Award winners and a fine batch of poems by Jos Smith for our regular ‘selected’ feature. Rob A. Mackenzie & Tony Williams Editors,

    Freedom will break out in London and Newcastle, with a double launch. Kei Miller, fresh from winning the Forward Prize for Poetry, will be reading at the London launch on Friday 28 November at 7pm at the London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL. Admission is free but booking is essential. Next month Sean O’Brien will be the guest reader at the Newcastle launch on Thursday 11 December at 7pm at the Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE. You can book your tickets here. Admission to both launches is free and will each feature a generous batch of contributors to the issue.  

  5. With the support of Arts Council England, Magma – one of Britain’s leading poetry magazines – is launching a ‘National Conversation’ about poetry, to explore what it is and what it means to people today – in all its many expressions.

    More than a magazine, Magma is a community of people, open to everyone, and passionate about celebrating a wide mix of poetry. The National Conversation is a series of original events and articles, designed to provoke thought, ignite debate and encourage all of us to move deeper into the art form.

  6. Magma 59 Launch in Leicester

    Written by Roberta James at 2:26 pm

    Join us for an evening of poetry and a celebration of  at our regional launch Upstairs at the Western in Leicester, Thursday July 17th. Lorraine Mariner and Kathryn Gray will be joined by other poets from the issue. Drinks are available from the bar downstairs and can be brought up. Doors open 6.30 for reading at 7pm. The reading will conclude by 9pm. Entrance is free. You can reserve your place by booking on Eventbrite.  

  7. Magma 59: the new issue and its launch events

    Written by Roberta James at 9:31 am

    Magma 59 will be launched at two venues.  

    In London, the launch will take place at the London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL on Friday 27 June. Doors open at 6.30pm with readings 7 to 9pm with Colette Bryce and Lorraine Mariner.  Entrance is free, but please reserve a seat here.  Wine will be available with a recommended donation of £3.  

  8. Listen to the London Launch of Magma 58

    Written by Laurie Smith at 1:48 pm

    Magma 58 was launched for the first time at the London Review of Books. If you weren’t able to attend the launch, or would simply like to hear the evening again, you can now listen to a podcast of the launch.

    To listen to part one of the launch, featuring Simon Armitage and introduced by Laurie Smith, click here:

  9. Magma 58 launches in London and Edinburgh

    Written by Laurie Smith at 12:31 pm

    Magma has launched for the first time in two venues. After many years at the Troubadour in Earls Court, London, through the sterling support of Anne-Marie Fyfe, we are now holding launches in London and another part of the country convenient for more poets in the issue.  Our new London venue is the London Review Bookshop and, as over a quarter of the poets in Magma 58 live in Scotland and the very North of England, we launched in Edinburgh too.

    The LRB was packed out with poets, their friends and Magma readers. Nineteen contributors read two or three of their poems in Magma’s tradition of giving equal space for poets in all stages of their career – newcomers to the poetry scene, poets with their first pamphlet and poets with several collections.

  10. Magma 58 launches in London and Edinburgh

    Written by Laurie Smith at 4:15 pm

    For the first time the new issue of Magma will have two launches. The first is on Friday 7th March at the London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL (very near the British Museum) beginning at 7pm. Our main guest poet is Simon Armitage who will read from his ongoing translation of Pearl which he talks about in Magma 58, as well as other poems, and he will sign copies of his books. And as usual at Magma launches, many of the poets in Magma 58 will read two of their poems.

    Admission is free for everyone. Drinks will be available with donations requested for wine.