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XVI.i / Winter 2015-16 Editorial

“A land of adventure” is how Angela Leighton’s prosody is described in one of our reviews (Andrew Wynn Owen), and it is a fitting description for this issue’s poetry and prose.

As with Leighton, there is bold handling of language: fun with phonetics (Paul Stephenson), nitty-gritty grammar (Maryanne Hannan) and interrogation of the significance of names (Ko Ha, Seán Hewitt).

We journey through living landscapes of nature that intimate the “wholeness of a world” (Roy Patience), inhabited by creatures as various as calling loons (Matt Riker), predatory spiders (Sean Borodale) and misunderstood salamanders (Frank Klaassen).

There is a special kind of loneliness in travelling (Jenny Xie, Sarah Lindon). And yet, we strive to inhabit the “landscape of other people” (Jess Cotton), whether in raw sexual encounters (Alison Winch, A K Blakemore), family relationships (Stephanie Zingeler, Jennie Malboeuf) or through distilling the elements of love (Jordie Albiston).

Finally, we reach prospective unorthodox burials (A. E. Stallings) and memorialising tributes (Robert Selby, Mary Jean Chan) for those who have left for new lands – the mysteries of which we are yet to uncover (D. Nurkse, Clive James).

All these wanderings are complemented by the visual lands of our cover artist (Tobias Ross-Southall), whose enigmatic images capture conflicting moodscapes of isolation and defiance, the erotic and uncanny, ambition and decline.

For a full list of contributors and to purchase a copy or subscription, visit our Shop page.


XV.iii / Summer 2015

The latest edition of Oxford Poetry has finally arrived in all its colourful vibrancy and is available to order from our Shop page, where you can also see the list of contributors. Inside, you'll find poems characterised by counterintuitive compounds, ‘nightlife’ and ‘daydeath’. What are the implications of laying aside a day for the dead? How does a city come to life after dark? And then how lively the “race to the death” in a new poem by Simon Armitage – to whom we extend hearty welcome in his new role as the Oxford Professor of Poetry. To top it all off, we have Hayden Kay's artwork – grinning skulls both mask-like and exposing what lies beneath the mask.

We hope you enjoy it.


New Editorship Announcement

Oxford Poetry is delighted to welcome two new editors who are joining Lavinia Singer at the helm: Mika Ross-Southall and Andrew Wynn-Owen. Our first issue together will be the forthcoming Summer issue, submissions for which we are trawling through currently. Thank you, poets, for your patience.

We would like to give our greatest thanks and appreciation to the immense work of former editor Aime Williams who is off to explore new literary 'litora'. The magazine's new design, database, printers and website – not to mention the four issues since 2012 including OP's special centenary celebration – could not have been done without her. She will be missed.

And so, to new horizons!


XV.ii / Winter 2014-15

The latest Oxford Poetry has arrived in all its chilling glory and is available to order on our Shop page, where you can also find a list of all contributors.

At this moment we are NOT open to submissions – the deadline was 31st May. We are unable to consider work received after this date. A new deadline will be uploaded onto our Submissions page in due course.


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

"It is not Turkish Dada, in fact it hardly resembles Dada at all; there is no sense of being released into free play. It is 300 pages of writings concerning “things”, taking various strategies, some bizarre, to locate something like the meaning or essence, or perhaps thingness, of things. Whether it does locate anything like this, or even wants to, is an open question. The “things” are not necessarily objects; in fact any noun seems to qualify: water, stones, golden oriole, roundness, slug, bra, sentences, book, numbers, house… It is perhaps justified to call the pieces “meditations” on these things." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review

"So, as I sat before Galway Kinnell, Ruth Stone, Maxine Kumin, Robert Bly, Gerald Stern, Philip Levine, Jack Gilbert, Lucille Clifton, and Donald Hall on the figurative dirt floors of their respective book-filled huts during the interviews I conducted with them between 2008 and 2011, I learned like a fool that the truths they imparted were unteachable, despite their memorable "music," residing solely within them as unique, original expressions that they had forged in the darkness of their "deep wells." Their wisdom made memorable sense, but it wasn't mine, and yes I was often initially shocked by their answers." Chard deNiord Cortland Review

"It is from this camouflage that the superegoic injunction “learn and enjoy”—as Ian Parker has phrased it in his Psychoanalytic Mythologies—is revealed. Thus it is that we must take the author’s advice, as he discusses production—on which he is an emerging theoretical voice to watch (or rather listen) out for—of capitalist subjectivity through enjoyment, and be wary of enjoyocentrism: “the text ought always to be [read] against the grain of its enjoyment, our own enjoyment often showing not our resistance to the structures of our capitalist society but our complicity within it. The enjoyment therefore is productive of capitalist subjectivity.”" Daniel Pritchard on ALfie Bown The Critical Flame

"Working this way allows the critic to “think less about completed products and more about text in process; less about individual authorship and more about collaboration; less about originality and more about remix….” One such tool may be Text Mechanic, a text manipulator. This simple website can sort lists alphabetically or by line length (in either ascending or descending order); it can reverse the order of the lines or shuffle them; it can add or remove line breaks." Ty Clever The Critical Flame


Oxford Poetry is published twice a year, and currently edited by Mika Ross-Southall, Lavinia Singer and Andrew Wynn-Owen.

© Oxford Poetry 2013