A taste of what is inside Magma 48.


‘A poem that pulsates’: Ten poets choose a poem they find beautiful and say why.
Read the amazing range of choices by Polly Clark, Julia Copus, Martyn Crucefix, Maureen Duffy, Philip Gross, Jen Hadfield, Lorraine Mariner, Adam O’Riordan, Jacob Polley and Carol Rumens.

Karen Solie: Encountering Frank O’Hara.
The winner of the 2010 Griffin Award for Canada, writes about a major inspiration.
“I came to realize that the power of detail does not lie solely in what the particular details are, but also in that they are details. They spoke to my experience of the particular, how it triggers and resonates, shines with the significance of a moment.”

Eavan Boland: Presiding Spirits
“I’m a lyric poet – although not a purist one because I like argument and complication – so I’m always interested in the pure lyric. Upon Julia’s Clothes is a great pure lyric poem. I may take issue with Herrick’s view of the body, but his achievement of it is beyond praise.”

Laurie Smith: ‘It was beautiful’
“I want to argue that if some poets are to rise from competence to write very good, perhaps great, poetry, they will need to be able to write beautifully. I will suggest why it has become difficult to talk about this, then sketch how we might do so again, showing how this works with poems by Frank O’Hara, Elizabeth Bishop and Michael Donaghy.”


Clare Pollard reviews Howard Wright’s King of Country (Blackstaff £8.99), Cheryl Follon’s Dirty Looks (Bloodaxe £7.95) and Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutability (Faber £12.99)

David Morley reviews Pascale Petit’s What the Water Gave Me (Seren £8.99), Arlene Ang’s Seeing Birds in Church is a Kind of Adieu (Cinnamon Press £7.99) and Martin Figura’s Whistle (Arrowhead Press hardback £10.00)

Jane Routh reviews Tony Hoagland’s Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty (Bloodaxe £8.95), Philip Gross’s The Water Table (Bloodaxe £8.95) and Maureen Jivani’s Insensible Heart (Mulfran Press £7.99)

Matt Merritt reviews David Briggs’s The Method Men (Salt £12.99), Rebecca Goss’s The Anatomy Of Structures (Flambard £7.50) and John Ash’s In The Wake Of The Day (Carcanet £9.95)