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Magma 45 Launch Reading: Monday 16 November with Catherine Smith and Jacob Polley

Magma 45 is now available. You can read a selection from the issue online and buy the magazine via our website.

Don't miss the launch reading on Monday 16 November at The Troubadour, Earl’s Court, London.

We are delighted to have Catherine Smith and Jacob Polley as guest readers. As usual, all poets published in the issue have the opportunity to read, which will make for a rich and varied programme.

The evening will start at 8 pm sharp, at The Troubadour Coffee House, 265 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 (near Earl’s Court Tube). Tickets are £6.50 / £5.50 concessions.

We hope to see you there!

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[SUBMISSIONS NOW CLOSED] Call for Submissions: Magma 47 ‘the devil and all his works’

Is the devil you know better than the devil you don’t? Does the devil take you? Do you speak of the devil? Have you been having a devil of a time and was it the devil to pay? Was the devil in the detail? Are you playing devil’s advocate? Is the devil he, she, both, or neither? Are you caught between the devil and Deep Blue Sea? Are you in limbo? Are you in Purgatory? Did you ever make a Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake? Is your hell private or public, and at which station on the Circle Line do you get off? Why does the devil have so many names and why does he have all the best tunes? Are you one of the beautiful and the damned?

Annie Freud, Guest Editor of Magma 47, with Roberta James as assistant editor, invites you to submit poems stimulated by anything connected with the devil and all his works.

The deadline is 28 February 2010. Off-theme poems will also be considered. Please see the Contributions page for details of how to submit your poems.

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Magma Roadshow with Don Paterson at Cheltenham

This year Magma Poetry was lucky enough to be running a workshop at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. This was appropriately titled 'Writing Poetry' and we shared it with Don Paterson, who has just won this year's Forward Prize for his collection, 'Rain'.

Don spent two fascinating hours at the workshop taking questions and talking about the English language lyric poem, and covered large areas of poetic ground, offering us his take on prosody, metre, phonetics and even managing to squeeze in a brief sentence or two on the subject of metaphor.

I'm pleased to say he is writing a book about poetry - publication date still up for grabs - so that those who haven't had a chance to hear some of his insights will be able to read about them - eventually. Those who have been lucky enough to hear Don talk about poetry will know that it's partly his particularly original turn of phrase that is illuminating; for example, the idea that most poetry that uses iambic pentameter is 'magnetised' to the metre or a sonnet is just a 'wee black square' on a white page.

I offered the participants a chance to become editors for an hour so, putting into practice some of Don's insights and suggestions. Split into small groups, they were invited to select which of three very different poems by dead poets (selected so that there was no danger of offending the living) they would choose.

They pursued this task with enormous gusto and there was a wide range of opinions, all of them justifiable, which I'm delighted to say proved the point I was trying to make. Poetry, like all art forms, is a hugely subjective business, and once a poem has reached a certain benchmark of quality (also a subjective matter, I know), selection becomes a matter of the editor's personal taste. This is where Magma has the edge. A rotating editorship means that the flavour of each issue will be different and if one editor returns your poetry, the next one may publish it. Keep sending it in!

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Judy Brown Wins the London Poetry Competition

  • October 15, 2009
  • News
Magma is delighted to congratulate Judy Brown on winning first prize in this year's Poetry London Competition with 'Letter to My Optician'. Judy has been a member of the Magma team and, before that, a member of the City Lit group from which Magma sprang. We have all delighted in her gift for rich and startling imagery whenever her poems have appeared in Magma and elsewhere, and clearly Don Paterson, the competition judge, did too. Judy's first pamphlet collection, Pillars of Salt, was published by Templar Poetry in 2006 and we're sure it won't be long before a more substantial collection of her work appears. Congratulations too to Howard Wright for winning second prize in the competition. Howard is a Magma regular and was our Showcase poet in Magma 28. And congratulations to Matthew Caley for his Commended. Matthew has appeared many times in Magma and featured at many of our readings, even going so far as St Andrews to read for us at the STAnza Festival in 2007.
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Troubadour Poetry Prize 2009 — Deadline 9th October

  • September 18, 2009
  • News

Magma launches each new issue at the Troubadour Café, in association with Coffee-House Poetry, and has hosted many memorable readings over the years. Because of this close association with Coffee-House Poetry and its organiser, Anne-Marie Fyfe, editor of Magma issue…

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Lorraine Mariner Shortlisted for the Forward Prize

  • July 27, 2009
  • News

We're delighted to congratulate Lorraine Mariner on being nominated for the 2009 Forward Prize for Best First Collection for Furniture (Picador). Magma was the first national magazine to publish Lorraine's poems in the early 2000s and we arranged some of…

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The Michael Marks Awards – HappenStance

I invited each of the four publishers who were shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award to answer a few questions. Peter Hughes from Oystercatcher Press (winner of the award) was first to respond. Now Helena Nelson from HappenStance shares her…

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