Skip to content

Magma Reviews Editor vacancy

Deadline: 31 May, 2023

Please send in a CV and copies of/links to one or two reviews to

Role Description 

The Magma Reviews Editor is responsible for:

● Commissioning a minimum of four reviews per issue of the magazine, with standard practice being four reviews per issue (one of them being written by a board member)
● Editing reviews for the magazine
● Liaising with the finance team to ensure invoices are paid on time
● Occasionally writing reviews for the magazine
● Overseeing the online publication of reviews from past issues
● Liaising with authors, publicists and publishers to obtain review copies of poetry collections
● Receiving, storing and disposing of solicited and unsolicited collections and pamphlets for review.

We’re looking for someone who is:

● Proactive and has an interest in poetry criticism
● Keen to bring new ideas to Magma for how poetry should be reviewed
● Looking to expand Magma’s list of reviewers


Further Details

Magma reviews collections by living poets and collections written in English rather than translations, preferably published within 12 to 18 months of launch of the issue.

The Reviews Editor provides the editors with a list of proposed titles and reviewers. Care is taken to avoid any appearance of favour when it comes to which books you choose to commission reviews of and who you commission to review. Books offered to reviewers should not be by good friends or enemies of the reviewer. Many poets know each other to an extent, of course, but care should be taken that reviewers don’t feel compromised, positively or negatively, when writing reviews. The Reviews Editor should try not to favour friends in selecting books for review, although they shouldn’t disfavour them either. It’s all about balance.

For budget reasons, each issue has three paid reviews and a fourth written by a member of the Board or one of the reviewers who writes for us without a fee.

The editors can request that other books are considered for review and other reviewers are used provided that evidence of successful reviewing is available to the Reviews Editor. The editors and Reviews Editor agree the books/pamphlets to be reviewed, the reviewers and the allocation of books between them.

The Reviews Editor’s own reviews are subject to approval by the editors. Any disputes are referred to the Chair for resolution, with referral to the Board by email if agreement cannot be reached [this hasn’t happened yet].

The Reviews Editor should ensure that a wide variety of poetry is reviewed: different styles and approaches, formal and free verse, the best of the mainstream and experimental, etc. Books by well-known poets should be covered alongside debut collections and pamphlets, and those in ‘mid-career’.

The Reviews Editor should ensure there is reasonable diversity of publishers (both small and big) and of poets in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, geography, age, etc. This doesn’t mean there has to be an exact numerical representation in every individual issue, but it should roughly balance out over time.

The Reviews Editor should ensure that evidence is given in reviews to back up the reviewers’ opinions and should ensure that any negative opinion is expressed on the work only and not on the poet.

Magma has never favoured either the overwhelmingly positive or negative review. The Reviews Editor should demand honest, bold, authentic criticism, written intelligently and entertainingly, and eschewing academic jargon.

Magma has a list of quality reviewers, but the Reviews Editor can add others to this list, as long as the quality of the magazine is upheld.

The Reviews Editor will become a member of the Magma Board and be paid an honorarium of £150 per issue.

Notice of termination:
In view of complexity of informing numerous publishers of the change, Magma Poetry and the Reviews Editor agree to give at least one issue’s notice of termination of role.


Back To Top