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 >


News & Features


                      Vol 51. Nos 3-4  T S Eliot Special Issue

                              Published 23rd Jan 2018 







                                   Agenda Editions

                                     Letting Go

                                        Josephine Balmer

                  3rd July 2017, 48 pages,  £10 paperback,

 New Statesman Review of Josephine Balmer's Letting Go & Paths of Survival

             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’

George Szirtes


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

Tel: +44 (0)1435 873703 

Or email Josephine Balmer direct on

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Visit Agenda News for the next launch performances from Three Symphonies by Tony Conran


                       Visit Agenda Audio Recordings to listen to extracts from: 

                                     ‘Tony Conran Remembered’

                  performed at Another Festival, Caernarfon July 2015



                       The submissions window is currently open


                              Submission Policy Change

      From April 2012 Agenda will only be accepting submissions via e-mail

 Please ensure you visit the Submissions page for full details before sending your submission.



                          Visit the Audio page for special feature:

               How to improve reading poetry aloud by Marek Urbanowicz






                                     Agenda Subscriptions

Payment can be made via Paypal online or by cheque, payable to ‘Agenda’ and sent to Admin, Agenda Poetry, Harts Cottage, Stonehurst Lane, Five Ashes, Mayfield, East Sussex. TN20 6LL



Pay by Link: Credit/debit cards supported by Maestro, Visa or Mastercard can use the easy and flexible Pay by Link facility. Please email Fred at and ask to Pay by Link for your subscription or books.You will then be sent a unique Web page link which allows you to enter your own credit/debit card details on the WorldPay Zinc payment page.

Phone payments: for credit/debit cards can be made by calling the Agenda

office on 01435 873703




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For the latest news of forthcoming issues of Agenda poetry journal and new Agenda Editions (separate individual collections of poetry) sign up online for the Agenda newsletter at the bottom of this homepage.


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Thanks to

Art Counci;

With grateful thanks to The Arts Council of Great Britain.

Note for Broadsheet Poets


Notes for Broadsheet Poets 29 online now

The Power of Poetry Web Supplement now online

Broadsheet 27 now online







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Michael Spinks:

Poetry of the Cornish Clay Pits:

Clemo, Clay, Kent and Goodman


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Colin Wilcockson:poem

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Young essayist who has another essay in the 50th Anniversary issue of Agenda:

N. Bryant Kirkland:

Warts and All

Martial’s Epigrams: A Selection



James Kirkup, born April 23, 1918, and died May 10, 2009:

2 unpublished translations


Eddie Linden remembers John Heath Stubbs


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