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XV.i / Summer 2014

Autumn's russets and raindrops may be upon us, but enjoy a last ray of summer with the latest Oxford Poetry. Currently at the printers, it should be with all our subscribers by the end of the month. Preorder and peruse its contents page at our Shop here!


Open for Submissions

Now that our summer issue is well on the way, we are open to receiving submissions once more. Please read our guidelines before sending, which can be found in the Submit section of our website.

And please note that there may be quite a wait until we respond. We'll do our best !


Oxford Poetry Summer Issue

We are currently putting together our summer issue, and are in the process of replying to all our submissions. Thank you for your patience!

At this time, we are not open for submissions. Please check the Submit section of our website, which we will update with the new deadline before long.

In the meantime, Oxford Poetry: 100 years is out and available to buy here. With archive material from former editors, as well as new poems and contributors, it is a truly special historical momento.

Thank you to all of our supporters. We look forward to sharing a new issue with you soon!


100 years of Oxford Poetry

The next issue of Oxford Poetry will be a special centenary edition, celebrating the rich history of the magazine and its extraordinary array of writers since first being published by Sir Basil Blackwell as Oxford Poetry: 1910–1913.

We will be launching the edition with drinks and readings right back where it all started: at Blackwell's Bookshop in Oxford, on Tuesday 28th January.

Buy tickets here

See you there!


XIV.3: Editorial

This edition of Oxford Poetry comes to you with a beautiful map, although I’m not sure it would get you anywhere. This map is an accident; resisting editorial tyranny, we didn’t set a theme for this issue. But our reviews have sailed back to us with thoughts of travel and distant lands. Laura Marsh, writing from New York, reminds us of Charles Simic’s ‘shifting, émigré life’ in post-war Europe. His New & Selected is shaped by a travel at the mercy of paperwork and postage-stamps. ‘Poetry-cartographer’ John Gallas explores European poetries in his new Carcanet collection – reviewed here by Evan Jones. Crossing the Atlantic, Alex Niven sketches the ‘coordinates’ plotted between late-modernist verse and the contemporary avant-garde of Flood Editions. Hugh Foley, meanwhile, dislikes both posturing and psychogeography, preferring ‘imperial misadventure’ instead. Colette Sensier retreats to fairytale worlds, and, totally unrelatedly, Adam Crothers thinks about C.K. Williams’s failure to die.

If maps are a thing of certainty and direction, it seems understandable that when either are lacking we return to maps for routes through. There are obvious points to be made about the various crises we share as a globe. And the tenuousness of our theme perhaps matches the growing sense of maps not as navigation, but as exploration. Certainty seems ever more irrelevant.

Aime Williams


‘Map me no Maps, Sir, my Head is a Map’ – Politick, from Fielding’s Rape upon Rape.

MAP: The word covers much more than the little ‘table napkin’ from which it originated: heads, poems, websites…all spaces for concentrating and celebrating the data of lived experience.

And a magazine is no exception: forgive us, Politick, but Oxford Poetry is a colourful sail of a map, charting dazzling lands. Some poems are rooted to this earth – Wendy Klein’s peas and the rare plants of Annie Freud. Others blasting beyond – Adam O. Davis’s ‘Astronauts’ and Mark Ford’s 'shifting / architecture of the clouds'. We encounter the 'strange knowledge' of human love, depicted by Niall Campbell and Jack Underwood, and the exotic trails laid by foreign words, thanks to Roddy Lumsden and Jamie McKendrick. Even further, as Aime has mentioned: the continent-skipping, generation-jumping range of our reviews.

Lastly, to remind us that cartography is as much a realm for visual aesthetics, we are delighted by Hannah Bagshaw's inventive map design, which makes this magazine a very pretty napkin indeed.

Enjoy the journey!

Lavinia Singer


OP & the Internet

Welcome to the new Oxford Poetry website, designed and built by Kathryn Lewis. We hope our century-old archives, featuring interviews and the odd article, will now be more accessible.

Issue XIV.3 is currently with the printers and will be on its way to subscribers soon! If you're not a subscriber or you'd like to buy single issues of the magazine, you can visit our new online shop.


XIV.2: Editorial

To 'edit' – e + dere – is to 'give out' or 'put forth', and so comes the editor's task of selecting poems to place in the spotlight. But where to start?

The magazine initially offered the poetry of young students "from one not very large University", as Gilbert Murray acknowledged in the Introduction. For our first issue as editors, we too have decided to 'strip back' to a selection of verse, narrowing focus on the poems themselves. Yet thankfully, OP now accepts work by poets of all ages and backgrounds. One of our contributors is an Oxford undergraduate, but we welcome many more: students from elsewhere, professors, editors, bloggers, international writers, the well-established and neophytes.

Murray admitted to holding "classic" preferences: "I do believe that a rose has as a rule more beauty than a c

Poetry Press from The Page

"Longley is fond of recalling a description, apparently Tennyson’s, of the lyric as an S-shaped structure, and this poem exemplifies such a balance of swerve and symmetry." Tiffany Atkinson on Gluck and Longley • Poetry Review

"This book, too, has received high praise. From its title, with its clear genuflection to Elizabeth Bishop, we might assume that Mehigan’s poetic temperament was a kind of opposite to Glück’s. And that is, mostly, true. Mehigan is a master of the small, closely formed lyric, although this book contains two longer narratives, ‘The Orange Bottle’ and the title poem. Mehigan is also a skilled formalist, but not, perhaps, the costive post-Hechtian classicism of the recent New-Formalism of Timothy Steele and Dana Gioia." Ian Pople on Mehigan and Gluck • Manchester Review

"The image of early Heaney as a pastoral ingenu is woefully in need of updating." David Wheatley • Guardian "Many feel that poetry is nothing more than an effete gesture of right-mindedness, or a mere entertainment, like some intellectual puzzle or game of literary trivia. Heaney’s work showed that they could not be more mistaken." John Burnside • New Statesman "Effortlessly, Seamus Heaney gives us ‘The song of the tubular steel gate in the dark/As he pulls it to.’ As Bloom says in Ulysses, ‘Everything speaks in its own way. Sllt.’ Sllt is the noise made by a paper-slitting machine. Heaney’s genius is an amalgam of moral complexity and the simple make-over of reality to his readers. He can describe things. He can describe things in a phrase, spray them with fixative." Craig Raine • Spectator

"Most of us in the profession were content to have our say on Pound and move on. I offered my pennyworth to say that the enabling motive of Pound’s Cantos is a line in Canto LIV, “History is a school book for princes”. Each of the Cantos displays an example, a parable, a moral lesson, an anecdote, the kind of thing a good governor should think about." Denis Donoghue • Irish Times


Oxford Poetry is published twice a year, and currently edited by Lavinia Singer.

© Oxford Poetry 2013