Agenda Poetry Magazine

Agenda is edited by Patricia McCarthy, who co-edited the magazine with William Cookson for four years until his death in January 2003. She is continuing, as Seamus Heaney said, ‘to uphold the lofty standards of Agenda’.

He went on to say, “…as the title insists, does several things that need to be done if literary culture is to stay in good shape. First of all, it stimulates and sponsors new poetry by poets whose writings and espousals have given the magazine its personality from the beginning. Agenda has a second important function which it discharges by doing work of critical advocacy for poets of marked or under-rated achievement, living and dead.”


As well as a whole host of poems from writers such as Omah Shabbagh, Andrew McMillan, Sasha Dugdale, Tess Jolly and Zoë Brigley-Thompson, a recent issue contains an article by Martyn Crucefix on The Five Forward Prize First collections and Patricia McCarthy interviews Sarah Howe.

And it’s not just a fine print publication. The Online Broadsheet features poetry and artwork from poets under 30 years and from this magazine, lucky poets are chosen to appear in Agenda, with a spread of up to six poems.

JoBalmer-finalLettingGocover-page-001Agenda’s own publishing house produce small, beautifully packaged limited editions; the newest, Letting Go: Thirty Mourning Sonnets and two poems by Josephine Balmer is due out this month.

For more information on Agenda in general or submission procedure follow this link, or email Fred for subscription queries.


Clare Best’s poem (below) appeared in the Web supplement in tandem with
The Power of Poetry issue of Agenda, Vol 50 Nos 3-4

You Ask Me How I Know All These Things

and I tell you. I know these things
in my fractured heart.
Because things can be known
in spite of the dark,
since mine is the skin I inhabit.
I know all these things
from the green sun rising,
because of the flames in my head
when sleep comes. And again when I wake.
With my bones. With my wise bones
I know all these things.
Because. I wanted. To grow. Beyond you.

Because I wanted to grow beyond you
I know all these things
with my bones, with my wise bones,
when sleep comes and again when I wake
because of the flames in my head
from the green sun rising.
I know all these things
since mine is the skin I inhabit
in spite of the dark.
Because things can be known
in my fractured heart.
And I tell you, I know these things.

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