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The North

About The North
The North 3 - cover pageSince our first issue - A4, typewritten and stapled - appeared in 1986, desktop publishing has come a long way. Poetry too, not least with the emergence of Bloodaxe Books and their impact on other publishers' lists. I said once that The North was us turning our noses up at a prevailing southerly wind: poetry rather than poems, if you see what I mean. I wouldn't want to limit northerly concerns along whippet and flatcap lines, or to pretend to more of a manifesto than the magazine had then or will ever have. In any case, we've always published as many southerners as natives and, their flatcaps notwithstanding, more women than most. We've also been lucky in the American and American-influenced writers who have sent us work.

The North magazine started life as the Journal of the English Society, when I was a research assistant at my alma mater, Huddersfield Polytechnic. The first issue included such writers as Carol Ann Duffy (even then a rising star), Harry Guest, Jon Silkin, Michael Schmidt, and a local lad by the name of Armitage. It still looks good to me, though of course I am looking at my youth. After the first few amazingly uneven issues, Janet Fisher became co-editor (and co-director of the Poetry Business Ltd), and we found the current format, so that in one way or another the magazine has become whatever it is (I like 'victim of its own success', a comment made in Zene).

With more lit-crit than before, and the conversations between poets and with our Blind Criticism and Poets I Go Back to features, we're performing a slightly different function to when we first set out (alongside such magazines as the Wide Skirt, joe soap's canoe, the Echo Room and the just-then revived Slow Dancer - what an amazing time that was!). But it's just as exciting now as it ever was to find new poems and publish them, especially by writers we don't know. It would be nice to think the magazine is still evolving.

Peter Sansom

The North 8 - cover page

You can subscribe to The North via the Poetry Business website as well as order back issues.

Subscription rates:

UK Annual £15

Single copies


Annual £19

We welcome submissions of poetry and critical prose. Please enclose a stamped addressed envelope or IRCs.


Current editors
Peter & Ann Sansom

Contact address
Peter & Ann Sansom
 Bank Street Arts
32-40 Bank Street
S1 2DS

Tel - 0114 3463037


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