skip to Main Content
Jackie Kay, Alison Brackenbury, Michael Rosen, Helen Ivory, Lawrence Sail, Sheenagh Pugh, Imtiaz Dharker
Jackie Kay, Alison Brackenbury, Michael Rosen, Helen Ivory, Lawrence Sail, Sheenagh Pugh, Imtiaz Dharker

Magma 44 is full of delectable summer reading. With a typically refreshing Magma twist, our theme of the vertical dimension will take you above and below our usual frame of reference: whether looking down from a cable car or up to the Moon; pointing high in simple tenderness or digging or diving into the earth; lingering by the water in Venice, or sailing the China seas. The poems in Magma 44 reflect emotional and intellectual exploration, including new poems from Lawrence Sail, Sheenagh Pugh, Alison Brackenbury and Helen Ivory.

Poet and novelist Jackie Kay tells us about the imaginative effects of her origins, and of her encounters with the Frostian fork in the road. In Presiding Spirits, Imtiaz Dharker takes us from the Sangam poets of Tamil Nadu to the present-day streets of Bombay. Michael Rosen describes the impact of his upbringing and surroundings on his work and his decision to write. We take a fresh look at Sharon Olds and her quest for emotional truth. Christopher James tells us about his poem ‘Farewell to the Earth’ that won the National Poetry Prize. And Cyril Nri, in our Guest Choice, selects Yeats’s ‘He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’. Last but not least, we review eleven new collections, from Mark Doty to Lorraine Mariner.

Magma 44 is a summer basket of poems and writing about poetry. Unpack it  in your favourite spot and enjoy.


Stav Sadot-Poleg Moons
Lesley Saunders The parachute dress
Matthew Howard Datum
Anuradha Vijayakrishnan The epiphyte speaks
Stephen Payne Glenn Gould into the music
Cherry Smyth To Dursey


Digging Deep Pamela Johnson on the quest of Sharon Olds Sharon Olds has been exploring the vertical dimension, writing about her roots, for over thirty years. There is nothing unusual about a writer drawing upon core childhood experiences – the young Virginia Woolf lying awake listening to the sea or Philip Larkin shrouded in boredom in Coventry,…
Guest Choice: Cyril Nri chooses Yeats's He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven I was sixteen when I first came across this poem. I was in the throes of on-coming exams and had just been left by my first serious (nearly a year together) girlfriend, only to find out that she was embarking on a relationship with my best friend. I was inconsolable, jealous, devastated and desperately wanted…
Back To Top