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Magma 34 out now!

I’m delighted to announce the launch of issue 34 of Magma poetry magazine, which I edited.

You can read a selection of the magazine’s contents on the Magma website.

Poets featured in Magma 34 include Mimi Khalvati, Maurice Riordan, Myra Schneider, Catherine Smith, Tim Turnbull, Susan Wicks and Lorraine Mariner.
For our regular Presiding Spirits feature, in which we ask a leading contemporary poet to write a poem drawing on a past master, David Harsent has written a poem inspired by a 17th century Cornish poem. He also talks at length about his writing, including his latest book Legion, which won the Forward Prize for Best Collection of 2005.

The Magma Showcase highlights the work of poets who are likely to be new to our readers. I’m very pleased that for this issue we have the first UK publication of the Japanese poet [tag]Machi Tawara[/tag]. In Japan Tawara is a household name, having sold 2.5 million copies of her first book of poems, Salad Anniversary (1987). In Magma 34 we publish a selection of newly-commissioned translations from Salad Anniversary and from her latest book, Pooh’s Nose (2005). Doumo arigatou gozaimasu Tawara-sama!

For our Poetry in Practice feature I’ve written an article about [tag]creative flow[/tag], taking the work of psychologist [tag]Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi[/tag] as the starting point. I interviewed Paul Farley, Myra Schneider, Susan Wicks and Matthew Sweeney about their creative process, who were all very generous in sharing their experience. You can read an edited version of the article here.

And for our Guest Choice feature Alastair Campbell has written an engaging appreciation of a poem by the French poet Théophile Gautier.

If you like what you read on the Magma website, please consider buying the print version or subscribing to Magma – each issue is approximately 80 pages and contains much more poetry and prose of a very high standard. Magma is run on a voluntary basis and all income from our sales goes straight back into the magazine’s production.

The launch reading for Magma 34 will be at 8pm next Monday 20th March at the Troubadour cafe near Earls Court in London. Entry is £6 (£5 concessions) and it’s advisable to arrive early as the Troubadour is invariably packed for Magma readings. More details on the Magma and Troubadour sites. I hope to see you there!


  1. Hi Mark, I am Ada in CME and happy to know about your blog! Congradulations again for the launch of Magma, the magazine looks really nice with not only poems but indepth discussion on writings on poetry and creativity!

    Sorry that I cant come to the launch reading this time as I am still struggling with my essay and removal… but do keep us inform and hope I can join you next time.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Hi Ada, thanks for your comments about Magma, I’m glad you like it. No worries about the reading – good luck with your essay and move!