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By inviting poets to write about putting on the mask, with this issue we have ‘put on a masque’.  Poems of real and imagined characters fill the issue alongside poems that use form and language to reveal their layers;  you will discover a wolf, a cactus, a fish and chip shop, the city, tattoos, a sweeping brush. Poets such as Greta Stoddart, Roddy Lumsden, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Annie Freud and others appear alongside new and emerging names.  And between stints at the National Theatre, Inua Ellams responded to Keats with a new poem.

There are reviews, and there are prose articles, from Glyn Maxwell on verse theatre, Tamar Yoseloff who offers tips on writing from the imagination, and Polly Clark who explores the relationship between the poem’s and the poet’s voice.

And we’re honoured to be including the winning poems from both contests in Magma Poetry’s first competition.  An extraordinary collection of short poems from the Editors’ Prize complements the longer poems in the Judge’s Prize, chosen by George Szirtes.

If you’re ready for the show, please ensure your mobile phone is switched off, and settle into your chair. The below is a preview of the magazine.

*Magma invites contributions of unpublished poems. In Magma 52 (March 2012), on page 22, we published a poem titled “Newton’s First Law of Motion” submitted by Christian Ward.  We have recently discovered that this poem was written, apart from a few minor changes of wording, by Matthew Olzmann with the title “Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion” and published in New England Review 30/4 (Winter 2009/10).  We very much regret publishing a plagiarised poem which we accepted in good faith.


Greta Stoddart Deep Sea Diver
Rowena Somerville That Buster Keaton moment
Robert Peake The Argument
Gill Andrews Playing with fire
Dominic Connell Belongings
Andrea Porter Yorick Yearns for Harry Ramsden’s
Greta Nintzel Gin Fizz


Speaking the Poem's Voice Inside a room overlooking a loch seven poets are sweating. One of them, me, has a band of pain around her middle from the unfamiliar exercising of her diaphragm. Another, the Scottish poet Andrew Philip, is about to speak his poem. This is the last day of the course. On the first we were told…
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