Poetry Magazines - The best collection of poetry magazines online - Simon Armitage

Poetry Library Southbank Centre - The Poetry Library housing the Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre

(once ‘of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry’)

The Journal began life in 1994 as the Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry (A5, perfect bound) and with the intention of publishing translations of Scandinavian poetry alongside original English language poetry. Compare and contrast. My founding belief having been that every major change to English poetry having come from outside, from sonnets to sestinas, the latest and persisting being the imagistic poetry from Japan and China, and with those imagistes having been more or less assimilated, I was certain that the next major influence would come from Scandinavia, from whatever issued forth from its wholly different 20th century long experiment with socialist-community living. I didn’t know what shape that poetry would take, had only the hunch that the new poetry would come from there.

Although I became enamoured of the poetry of Olav Hauge, Marianne Larsen and Halldis Moren Vesaas, it took five years and ten issues to realise that JoCA-SP was not going to find itself in any vanguard, especially as I was having difficulty finding new translations. And, faced with the prospect of publishing an issue with no Scandinavian content whatsoever, I ceased publishing for a year, started over with an A4 (specifically to give space to longer poems, allow room for shaped poems, but with text only, no illos) 40 page, 100gsm, stapled magazine; and with reviews. Being that much cheaper to produce it allowed me to aim for 3 issues a year. And so it has, more or less, continued - depending on submissions and funds.

I have never received any grants, have funded the magazine from my own earnings, from sales and subscriptions, and from occasional donations from well-wishers. The Journal has never once slipped into profit. Nevertheless I believe it important to persevere, in order to provide not only a publishing opportunity for poets, but - with the reviews - a testing of what any poet dare place in the public domain. ( I allow Journal reviewers a free hand, let them sink or swim, be they off-the-wall or outright reactionary, with zero editorial input. Barring, that is, any factual errors I may happen to spot. Most of the apologies I have had to make to date have been on behalf of Journal reviewers.) Don’t take my word for it. This is some of what a few others have had to say:-

... The Journal contains some reasonable verse... and a gaggle of reviews of the latest poetry books on the small-press scene - though the latter do tend to pivot from the informed and opinionated to the downright eccentric.'
Travis Elborough: The Guardian 17.06.06

'...interesting and experimental while avoiding the obscure and unnecessarily difficult. Add to the excellent selection of poetry, some interesting and insightful reviews and The Journal is a must for anyone who loves poetry and is not afraid of a bit of experimentation and the new insights that this can bring.'
Juliet Wilson: NHI Online Review '

A plainly elegant layout, making the most of its size to incorporate sequences and longer poems, articles and plenty of reviews .... The contents are global ... all saying what has to be said, in ways and words you wish you'd imagined. Shining intelligence, to brighten and inspire serious poetry lovers.'
Orbis #120

'Few publications deliver consistently good issues — The Journal is among them. Filled with well-written poems from some of the best contemporary poets I've ever read, The Journal is the definitive showpiece of the small press. Each issue also contains thorough book and journal reviews composed by writers whose love of literature is evident.' Hyacinthe L. Raven Via Dolorosa Press (USA)

Subscription rates:

within UK annual subscription
(3 issues)
current issue

All cheques in UK currency please and made payable to 'Sam Smith'

And once again, in emphasis, The Journal receives no public funds, depends entirely on sales and subscriptions.

* poems in English please, or translations into English (about 6 at a time)

* also welcome are interviews with poets, reviews, appreciations or appraisals of current poetry scenes

* if, within UK, a reply is desired, enclose SAE (email submissions only as part of email text, not as an attached file.)

* from outside UK enclose 2xIRCs, or submit by email (email submissions only as part of email text, not as an attached file.)

* payment will be one complimentary copy to each author

* copyright will remain with author

Editorial policy is '...to try to publish those poems - from wheresoever they may come - written with thought to what the poem is saying and to how it is being said. Also poems welcomed that can travel, that can cross boundaries, that do not assume in their readers a shared knowledge nor a shared set of beliefs.'

I endeavour to reply to all submissions within 2 months. But, as I am very much a one-man band, allow 3.


Sam Smith

Contact address
The Journal
17 High Street
Cumbria CA15 6BQ

[email protected]