welcome, issue 93!

28 feb 2022
Oxford Poetry 93

Our new issue is currently making its way to doorsteps and postboxes around the world. It features poems by Pierre Joris, Sasha Dugdale, Jamie McKendrick, Pam Rehm, Romeo Oriogun, and Nkosi Nkululeko, among others.

Nkululeko’s poem ‘Square’ wraps around a mid-game chessboard, a clue to the multilinear order in which the poem can be read, a form the poet calls a ‘contrapuntal’. Nkululeko’s other poem in this issue, ‘The Area of a Parallelogram’, is constructed with stacked rhombus-shaped stanzas. The poem interrogates blackness, collective identity, citizenship, and inequality: ‘In a mirror, I’m dressed / as that whom vanishes me.’ The poem pulls off that strange trick of being both dense and light at the same time, like a boulder hovering a foot above your head, miraculous and disturbing.

‘Think Hardy, but with a vagina, and also he is an alien’. Marianne MacRae’s poem ‘★★★★☆’ is delivered in the style of an online product review, but playfully subverts our expectations of the genre. It’s a poem made almost entirely of surprising turns, or turnings inside-out, and it ends with a strange and memorable line about History.

Emily Bludworth de Barrios’s spellbinding, quicksilver poem ‘A ghost is what you call a women’ opens our issue. As in a fairytale, the domestic and the supernatural seem to bleed at their edges. In the process, the domestic categories that seek to define a woman lose their potency within a language re-enfranchised with mysticical possibility. ‘Her soul / Like cool wind / Skirts around the bodies of her children’.

The issue also features translations by Sue Vickerman, whose Englishing of Brecht retains the bright clarity and quiet wit of the original, and whose translations of haikus by Jan Wagner are wonderfully clipped and lucid.

There’s tonnes more fresh and surprising work in this issue by Lizzie Hutton, Kristian Doyle, Ivan Hobson, Janine Bradbury, Angus Strachan, Polchate Kraprayoon, Tristram Fane Saunders, Sean Cho A, Rosa Campbell, and Jacob Mckibbin, as well as reviews of Jorie Graham’s Runaway by Rowland Bagnall and New Poetries VIII by Michael Black.

Our cover is happily wrapped in a marbled paper design by Stephen Pittelkow, accompanied by an excerpt from Ali Lewis’s brilliant poem ‘Leisure on a Red Background’, which can be read inside. We collaborated again with the illustrator Anina Takeff to create cut-out artworks for our reviews pages, and we worked with Studio Lamont to design, typeset, and produce the issue.

We hope you enjoy reading our latest instalment! You can purchase a copy here. If you’d like to support the magazine, please subscribe here.

new editor of oxford poetry

9 june 2021

Luke Allan has been appointed the new editor of Oxford Poetry. Luke joined the magazine as co-editor in 2018 and his first issue as sole editor will be issue 93, published autumn 2021.

An innovative publisher and editor, Luke co-founded the poetry magazines Butcher’s Dog, Pain, and Quait, and is former managing editor at Carcanet Press and PN Review. He grew up in Northumberland and studied English literature and creative writing at the Universities of East Anglia and Oxford. He is currently an Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book.

Luke writes: ‘Oxford Poetry has been thriving for over a century not because it has remained the same but because it has kept on changing. I’m humbled and excited by the opportunity to shape the next small part of the magazine’s long history. As editor my priorities will be social inclusivity, ecological responsibility, and—that thing we forget to say we care about—the reader’s pleasure.’

Luke has already instigated some changes to the magazine, including a redesign of the print edition and website, as well as the introduction of new environmental standards. In the coming months, he will expand the editorial team and develop the magazine’s digital offering.

Luke takes the reins from his co-editors Jay Bernard, Mary Jean Chan, and Theophilus Kwek, who will continue to work with the magazine as contributing editors.

Outgoing co-editor Theophilus Kwek writes: ‘Since joining the team in 2016, putting together each issue of Oxford Poetry has been humbling and fulfilling in equal measure. I'm grateful for the friendship and support of my co-editors over the past five years, and am excited to see the magazine enter its next phase with as astute and capable an editor as Luke Allan.’

Outgoing co-editor Mary Jean Chan writes: ‘It’s been a privilege to have co-edited Oxford Poetry alongside Nancy Campbell and Theophilus Kwek since 2016, and later alongside Jay Bernard as well. The magazine is now in safe and capable hands, and I can’t wait to see what Luke Allan and Partus Press will do with—and for—Oxford Poetry in the years to come.’

issue 92 out now

24 april 2021
Oxford Poetry 92

We are inordinately excited to bring you issue 92 of Oxford Poetry. We’ve given the magazine a fresh lick of paint and some new wheels, and have been tinkering under the hood too. Read on! (Guaranteed no more car metaphors.)

new publisher Last summer we joined forces with the incredible Partus Press. Their support gives us access to all sorts of systems and tools that will help us to grow and be more sustainable longterm.

new design We’ve collaborated with some very talented people on our redesign. The overall design is by Studio Lamont, who also typeset the poems. Anina Takeff created a series of bespoke cut-out artworks, which appear inside. And we commissioned expert paper marbler Rachel Maiden to produce the marble design for the dustjacket. The lines on the front cover of the new issue, by the way, are from Elle Heedles’s poem ‘Respite’, which you can read inside.

the environment It’s important to us that we publish responsibly and sustainably, so we’ve been working closely with our printer to introduce some new ecological standards. All our paper is now either fsc or Rainforest Alliance certified, and is free of heavy metals, acid, and elemental chlorine. The ink we use contains no mineral oil or cobalt, and, like the metallic foil on the front cover, is certified non-hazardous by the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances. On top of that, we’ve teamed up with Trees for Life to help us offset our carbon footprint—for each new issue, beginning with this one, we’ll plant three trees. You can keep tabs on our planting here.

wait, 92? Oh, and we’ve moved from the old ‘volume:issue’ format, first adopted by the magazine in 1983, to a simpler, and hopefully more meaningful, system of absolute numbering. Farewell xviii.ii, hello 92.

Finally, and very importantly, you can get hold of a copy of our new issue here. Happy motoring!