Agenda is one of the best known and most highly respected poetry journals in the world, having been founded in 1959 by Ezra Pound and William Cookson.
It 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’.
"Agenda is one of the two literary periodicals in Britain. I admire it for its attentiveness to all kinds of contemporary poetry… and its consistent stress on the importance of poetry in translation from other languages." Thom Gunn
"Agenda, 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." Seamus Heaney
Timeless Quotes by William Cookson >
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Vol 51. Nos 1-2 Testaments
Published 30th June 2017
3rd July 2017, 48 pages, £10 paperback,
purchase online in the Agenda Editions bookshop
Josephine Balmer’s delicate yet powerful sonnet sequence traces the devastating impact of her mother’s sudden death. Employing Balmer’s characteristic blend of original poetry and classical versioning, Letting Go: thirty mourning sonnets and two poems draws on a variety of sources and inspirations, from Virgil’s Georgics to Google’s Street View. Heart-breaking but healing, these poems re-enact the crushing pain – and final acceptance – of a bereavement which ‘feels like too little love. Or too much’.
Praise for Josephine Balmer:
‘Brilliant and original... Balmer’s meditations on the possibilities of connection and difference across the centuries [offer] the hope of genuine understanding and the peace of reconciliation’
Margaret Reynolds, The Times
‘Balmer has created a genre of her own: a kind of historical docupoem, a collage of voices in which authenticity is as important as art’
Kate Bingham, Poetry London
‘Wry, lyrical, invariably learned...a gripping read’
Edith Hall, TLS
‘Alchemy achieved in poetry’
Paschalis Nikolaou, The London Magazine
‘Balmer...modestly fulfils Boris Pasternak’s demand that “ideally translation too will be a work of art; sharing a common text, it will stand alongside the original, unrepeatable in its own right”’
Christopher Logue, Literary Review
Josephine Balmer’s poetry moves beautifully...and indeed bravely’
Josephine Balmer’s latest collections include The Paths of Survival (Shearsman, 2017), The Word for Sorrow (Salt, 2013) and Chasing Catullus: Poems, Translations & Transgressions (Bloodaxe, 2004). She has also translated Sappho, Classical Women Poets and Catullus, all for Bloodaxe. Her study of classical translation and poetic versioning, Piecing Together The Fragments, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. She writes on poetry and translation for several newspapers and journals including TLS, New Statesman and The Times, for which she sets the daily Word Watch and weekly Literary Quiz.
For further information contact Patricia McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44 (0)1435 873703
Or email Josephine Balmer direct on email@example.com
Visit Agenda News for the next launch performances from Three Symphonies by Tony Conran
Visit Agenda Audio Recordings to
listen to extracts from:
performed at Another Festival, Caernarfon July 2015
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How to improve reading poetry aloud by Marek Urbanowicz
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