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Just as songs and music can be poetic, so poetry can be musical.

We recognise and savour these overlaps with our ears and our hearts, even if we can’t always explain their magic with reductive rules or dryly rational principles.  For the two of us, as both poets and musicians, the intersections of poetry and music are particularly delicious – and uncovering the musical delights of the Magma 53 submissions inbox has been an inspiring treat.

We hope you’ll enjoy the fruits of our selection.In this issue, we’re delighted to present established virtuosi of
language-music such as Les Murray and Ian Duhig, alongside distinctive new voices such as Katherine Stansfield and Kaddy Benyon. In prose, we have Ian Pindar on the musical challenges of free verse and EstherMorgan on the creative challenges of new parenthood, W.N.Herbert on the pleasures of musical collaboration and Brian Holton on the conundrums of translation, plus guest features from Don Share and Mike Scott. We have incapable bassoonists, bone grubbers and wild things, fado and fox prints. Bring on the sweet cacophony!

Rob Mackenzie and Kona Macphee


Mark Granier The Catch
Claire Booker Quake - South Island
Angela Kirby The Frig-pig
Katherine Stansfield O Bees of Rhode Island
Richie McCaffery The Organ
Harry Owen Andante un poco mosso


A poetry of connection rather than escape If I were writing this a year ago I would have known better what to say. I’d have been sharing with you a creative rhythm established over many years: the discipline of morning pages done in bed with a first cup of tea or on the bus to work, the importance of stopping and listening,…
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