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A person’s outfit is a clue to the state of the world. In editing this issue of Magma poetry magazine, Helen Mort and I wanted to see these sartorial hints and hidden meanings teased out in poems. A magazine full of clothes poems, with the odd surprise thrown in. Every fashionista knows to mix her couture pieces with her charity shop finds; the fashionisto, his vintage with his high street in order to achieve the strongest, most original look. The wardrobe of Magma 56 bursts with options: poets with a dozen books under their belts mix it with poets making their debuts in these pages, poems from London and Liberia clash and match with those from Canada and Cambridge. Underneath the buttoned up three piece suits, there’s a lot of tattooed nakedness.

The seamstress’s needle is at work in poet A B Jackson’s article about polar explorers, their fur-lined outfits and the poetry they inspire. Miguel Cullen admires Frederick Seidel’s tweeds during a lunch-time encounter, and Hannah Silva recounts the route her poems take from mind to mouth to stage. We are delighted to showcase the work of Emma Danes with a generous selection of her work. Our guest writers are Hannah Pool who talks about her relationship with Jackie Kay’s groundbreaking 90s collection The Adoption Papers, and Paul Batchelor who listens to what Rilke had to say and answers back. Rob Mackenzie, our reviews editor, has brought together a range of beady-eyed responses to the latest collections and anthologies.

This is the Magma Clothes issue. Try it on for size.
Julia Bird, editor
Helen Mort, assistant editor


Matt Bryden Ab
Jody Porter Launderette
Tamar Yoseloff Lace
Penelope Shuttle Crinoline Cupboard
Samatar Elmi Burqa


Requested: Hannah Pool chooses Jackie Kay's The Adoption Papers I say to the man at the desk I’d like to see my original birth certificate Do you have any idea what your name was? Close, close he laughs. Well what was it? So slow as torture he discloses bit by bit my mother’s name, my original name the hospital I was born in, the…
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