I’m thrilled have two poems in the final issue of Agenda edited by the legendary Patricia McCarthy. Stepping Stones (or Volume 55, Nos 3-4 to those of a bibliographic mind!) is a beauty in both form and content, and a fine finish after two decades of Patricia’s curatorship.
“Agenda is being taken over by the University of St Andrews, with the illustrious poet and Professor John Burnside as the new editor,” writes Patricia McCarthy. “Agenda will be in excellent, creative, energetic and safe hands . . . Magic comings-together have often happened and this crossover also seems to have that magical ingredient. John intends to keep intact the ethos of the journal which, it has been said, ‘does what no other poetry journal does’.”
New work published in this issue includes poems by Shanta Acharya, Josephine Balmer, William Bedford, Claire Booker, John Burnside, David Cooke, John F. Deane, Philip Gross, David Harsent, John Kinsella, Michael Longley, Jane Lovell, Patricia McCarthy, Jessica Mookherjee, Mary Noonan, David Pollard, Stephen Romer, Carol Rumens and Rory Waterman.
Also in this issue are translations/versions of foreign language poetry including Rainer Maria Rilke (by Martyn Crucefix), the Moravian poet Maria Sergeyevna Petrovykh (by Belinda Cooke), and translations of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and Valentine Penrose (by Timothy Ades), plus three poems by the chosen broadsheet poet Daniel Johnson, and a conversation between him and James Harpur about how they are trying to “redeem the language of faith.”
With a wealth of Irish poets represented in this issue, it’s lovely to see that most Celtic of images, the horse, manifesting in exquisite paintings by writer and artist James Roberts (@nightriverwood).
If you’ve ever wondered how to approach reading poetry for review, look no further. George Szirtes shares some handy thoughts on the process. He writes: “The ‘how’ of the poem is the vital thing. The ‘how’ of the poem’s voice, its pace, its music, its mind, its sensitive registration of detail and effect, its capability to touch lightly and let go, its mastery of when to press and when to stand aside.” Nothing too tricky then!
To buy a copy of Agenda: Stepping Stones, take out a subscription to the magazine, or submit work, visit http://www.agendapoetry.co.uk
Agenda being generous hearted, they also publish additional poems, essays and reviews for free on their website.
If you’d like to read my eco poem ‘Sketching the Deluge’ there, please go to P.16 at https://www.agendapoetry.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/S-Stones-web-supplement-poems-2.pdf.