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We chose hunger as our theme for Magma 46 because we wanted to elicit strongly felt, powerful poems. We were delighted with the response. Poets approached our theme in hugely varied ways, for example playing with the links of food and seduction, but also visiting the territory of the hospital, the ocean or grisly myths depicted in art.

We are thrilled with the sheer variety and scope of poems we ultimately (and painfully) selected for Magma 46; it’s stuffed with poems that surprise and delight, with the work of writers who are published for the first time printed alongside the work of those who are more established, like Blake Morrison and John Burnside.

We chose the prose subjects for their capacity to inspire you and complement the poems. The articles include Norbert Hirschhorn exploring the interface between modern poetry and modern science, a symposium where ten poets enthuse about their favourite erotic poems, and an article on poetry and the unconscious, where Alan Buckley draws some fascinating links between poetry and therapy. George Szirtes has provided us with a typically erudite, entertaining and personalised view of the canzone and Polly Clark has written a wonderfully visceral new poem as a homage to Ted Hughes for our Presiding Spirits feature.

It’s been pleasure and a privilege to put this hunger-themed issue together. We hope you enjoy the feast.M46-mastheadM46-frontcover


Celia Purcell Travelling
Padraig Rooney The ordination meal
Lucy Ingrams Stonechat’s Song
Julian Stannard Scallops for Tracy
Sarah Westcott Owls
Phil Poole Gastroscopy


Structure, metaphor and phenomena Norbert Hirschhorn investigates connections between modern poetry and modern science. “The remotest discoveries of the chemist, the botanist or mineralogist will be as proper objects of the poet’s art as any on which it can be employed, if the time should ever come when these things shall be familiar to us….” Thus in his preface…
My marmalade passion or remembering Proust’s gloves Alan Buckley on poetry, creativity and the unconscious Art is a revelation, not a criticism – WB Yeats, The Body of the Father Christian Rosencrux Enquiry into the unconscious has been my business for the best part of two decades: the job title psychotherapist has been applicable to a lot of my work during this…
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