Agenda Poetry, Poem, Poetry, Articles, Essays, William Cookson, Patricia McCarthy, Magazine, Critic, ReviewLatest Issue





                             T S Eliot Special Issue

                                    Vol 51. Nos 3-4

                           Published 23rd Jan 2018






                                     Vol 51. Nos 1-2 

                             Published 30th June 2017  





                            The Power of Poetry

                                        Vol 51 Nos.3-4

                          Published 16th February 2017




                          Homage to Geoffrey Hill

                  Vol 50 Nos 1-2 Published 16th Sept 2016





                                New Generation Poets

                    Vol 49 Nos. 3-4 Published 7th March 2016

                              Click Contents to view




                                          Family Histories

                      Vol 49. No 2 Published 25th Sept 2015





                       Vol 49. No.1 Published 20th May 2015

                              Click Contents to view





                             Requiem: The Great War


        Vol 48 Nos.3-4 Published 11th November 2014








          Vol 48 Nos.1-2 Publication date, 1st August 2014









                            Poetry & Opera Vol 47 Nos 3-4

                           Publication December 16th 2013


The Poetry & Opera issue of Agenda is dedicated to Seamus Heaney.

The first section contains elegies to Seamus and an essay on him by fellow Nobel Poet Laureate, Derek Walcott.



The human soul is the weight of a snipe

(i m S.H 30th August 2013)

On the day Seamus Heaney died, the children had

just returned to school, suddenly the park was deserted.

Those same children were even now opening their books

to recite Mid-Term Break or When All The Others Were Away

at Mass and knew there would be no more.

At the river, the red rust of  hidden bridge girders

was exposed as I dipped below them onto the shore.

Skeins of words purled over stones

cutting channels in the gravelly river bed.

The blue of sky lying shadow-trapped on the surface of the stream.

Exhorted to keep alive the child within the well spring of poetry,

I thought it fitting to ride the high zip-wire,

straddling its seat, I clutched the chain and just let go. Bright air parted

as I skelped by, hair billowing, squalls surged and curled in my wake.

I plunged and plunged again through gauzy space

almost tumbling into the circling wall of murmuring hazel and alder.

Light as a rising bog bleater this green last day of summer broke open.

                                                                          Jean O'Brien





                           Celtic Mists Vol 46 No 4

                       Published 28th September 2012






           Retrospectives Vol 46 No 3 Published 12 April 2012

Poems on the first and second world wars, and on general themes, by known voices such as Maureen Duffy, Alison Brackenbury, Penelope Shuttle, Robert Wells, Peter Dale, Simon Jenner, Peter Carpenter, and others – and new voices such as Jane Lovell, Clare Best, Judy Shalan, Robin Renwick.

Six chosen, exciting young Broadsheet poets pointing out of the past and present, to the future of a poetry that matters, including an essay by a former young Broadsheet poet, now an established poet, Zoe Brigley: part I of three parts in which she reviews young poets featured in Agenda’s pages and website who have gone on to have collections published.

Essays by well-known critics and academics such as Josephine Balmer, Robert Wells, Simon Jenner, Andrew McCulloch, Peter Dale on undeservedly neglected poets from the 30s, 40s and 50s. These include Bernard Spencer, Sidney Keyes, Anne Ridler, E.J. Scovell, A.J. Tessimond, William Hayward, Laura Riding and the short-lived Argentinian poetess, Alejandra Pizarnik.

A special feature: a challenging, topical essay on poetry and the Olympics by Phil Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London. Plus a retrospective look at ‘Commonplaces’ by George Watson, Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge

Don't miss the latest supplementary Poems -- Essays -- Reviews







Keenings Vol 46 No2 Published 29th Sept 2011

Woven around elegies.


Contents include: a revealing interview by Patricia McCarthy with

Peter Dale; poems by known and new voices, essays and up-to-date







Dwelling Places, An Appreciation of John Burnside

Vol 45 No4/Vol 46 No1

published May 20, 2011

Go to 'Supplements to Magazine - Poems' for more poems, and paintings

accompanying the 'Dwelling Places' issue and the 'Hoofmarks' issue.

Go to 'Supplements to Magazine - Essays' for further essays

on John Burnside:

Jaime Robles: In the Shadow of the Ineffable: Imagery in

John Burnside's 'Annunciations'

Maitreyabandhu: Near-Belonging

Alan Stubbs: Reading Burnside











C.H. Sisson Special Issue, guest edited by Charlie Louth

                    Vol 45 No 2 Published 16th June 2010


supplementary poems and paintings; also new translations (by W.D.Jackson, Will Stone, Omar Sabbagh and Simon Thomas)

also essays/reviews (by Belinda Cooke, Harry Guest, Samuel John Perry) now online










Agenda Vol 44 No 4 / Vol 45 No 1

Special focus on 15 young poets and on young essayists/reviewers - to take Agenda into the future.

Special feature: Bernard Spencer Centenary Supplement introduced and compiled by Peter Robinson.

Poems, translations, essays, reviews. New poems by Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Peter Dale, Greg Delanty, Sudeep Sen, Lynne Wycherley, Tony Conran and others.














Agenda Volume 43 No 4 / Vol 44 No 1

 50th Birthday Celebration for Greg Delanty






 Agenda Volume. 43 Nos. 2-3

Link to review of the Lauds issue of Agenda in Arts & Books pages of the Independent Friday, 25th April, 2008

Special supplementary features for W.H. Auden:

Two poems:

Michael Alexander: To W.H. Auden in Heaven, with Apologies

Andrew Saltarelli: The Hall of American Pilgrims

Nanos Valaoritis: A Memoir and biography of Marie Wilson


Plus for students and teachers: Roger Elkin's analyses of a poem by W.H. Auden,  and a poem by Louis MacNeice.









The latest, handsomely-produced issue of Agenda, the ‘Past Histories’ issue (Vol. 43 No.1),

features some very interesting, trenchant work. The attractive cover boasts a rarely-seen stained-glass window, one of a series in Pembroke College, Cambridge, featuring animals and text from the poems of Ted Hughes who was an undergraduate there.





In this comprehensive journal containing translations/versions by well-known translators such as Michael Hamburger, Stephen Cohn, Martyn Crucefix, Sean O’Brien, Patrick McGuinness and lesser-known voices both male and female, including the Australian poet Alison Croggon, Charlie Louth, Terese Coe, Will Stone and Anna Martin,  Rilke is successfully ‘reborn in English dress’.

     Other sections include fascinating essays with original slants on Rilke by, among others, Clive Wilmer, Patrick Bridgwater, Manfred Engel, Peter Robinson, Rüdiger Görner; a section on poems to, on and for Rilke which adds a personal, extra celebratory approach, again by little known and well-known poets such as John Burnside, John Greening, David Brooks, and a section of translations of essays on Rilke from the french of French Resistance poet, Jean Cassou, Yves Bonnefoy and Philippe Jaccottet. The two chosen young Broadsheet poets in the magazine (with the accompanying online Broadsheet 8 for young poets and painters) Adam O’Riordain and Zoe Brigley, who are each given a generous spread of poems, are particularly mature and talented.







Included is new work from Eavan Boland, John Fuller, Greg Delanty, John Deane, John Kinsella, Clive Wilmer, Peter Dale, Harry Guest, Michael Hamburger, Alison Brackenbury, John Greening, Mimi Khalvati, John Haynes, Susan Wicks, Iain Britton, Mc. Donald Dixon - and fresh, lesser-known voices, such as the chosen twenty-four year old chosen young Broadsheet Poet, Simon Pomery.







This single issue of Agenda poetry magazine is very refreshing and readable. It

marks a return to mainly single issues for English speaking poets (and translators), and to the classical, traditional mainly black and white covers headed by the David Jones’ lettering for the pocket-sized journals.

    In the Editorial, Pádraic Fallon, the important Irish poet (1905-1974) is quoted from his prose writings: ‘The poem finds the poet’. Similarly, the varied poems on the theme of ‘Water’ here seem to have found this issue and shaped it of their own accord, giving this section and the issue as a whole that ‘personality’ which Fallon accords to the most interesting books.







The impressive array in this US issue of Agenda of poems by fresh, energetic voices, male and female, known and mainly unknown, demonstrates the energy and variety of the challenging corpus of poetry emerging from the U.S. in the last of the current international series of Agenda issues. The chosen poems, culled both from academic and non-academic circles, are set on survival. Poets such as John Roberts, Virgil Suarez, Jack Gilbert, Greg Delanty, Jared Carter, Jackson Wheeler, Ben Mazer, Kay Ryan, Samuel Menashe, Martha Carlston-Bradley, Elena Karina Byrne, Dana Gioia, Linda Gregg, W.D. Snodgrass, Suzanne Lummis, Sandra Gilbert, Stephen Knauth, Anne Carson, Georgia Tiffany, among others, come from all over the U.S. from East, West and mid U.S.






2005 Special Issue on Australian Poetry (Vol. 41 Nos. 1-2) contains poems by some of that country's leading poets, and essays on new and established poets. The issue was well received and reviewed extensively in The Independent newspaper (with a special feature on Clive James). Here is an excellent introduction both to the exciting world of contemporary Australian poetry and to its rich cultural heritage.

Quotes from the Independent, Friday 16th September, 2005, entitled:
‘Agenda’: an Australian Victory

John Kinsella, the well-known Australian poet and Cambridge academic, has described the culture of literary journals as ‘integral to the vitality of poetry and language itself’. ‘Literary journals,’ he avows, ‘are crucibles of the word.’ The first ever double Australian issue of Agenda magazine does indeed serve as a ‘crucible for the word’, establishing Australia as a vital, unique and highly energetic literary force. It is more of an anthology than magazine (224 pages) and an essential buy for anyone who wants to be au fait with the history, development and present state of poetry in Australia.

T.G. H. Strehlow is quoted from Barry Hill’s prizewinning biography: Broken Song as saying of the Aboriginal song: ‘If everything is vitally interconnected, then the whole world is a poem, an enchantment simply awaiting notation, or indication.’ The richness and diversity of the contents of this Agenda lead to the thought that the whole world is ‘an enchantment.’

The Australian issue is an education in all the outbacks and inbacks of that country’s poetic territories.
Dennis O’Driscoll

A rich and dynamic choice, a very nice balance of poetry and criticism.
Jan Owen

I am proud to be associated with this issue. It looks brilliant and ... a great job has been done.
John Kinsella




Transalation as Metamorphosis




The excellent journal, MODERN POETRY IN TRANSLATION, THIRD SERIES NUMBER THREE (edited by David and Helen Constantine), recommends the recent Translation as Metamorphosis issue of Agenda , Vol 40 No 4:

This issue includes translations/versions from 7th century BC to the present day, with poems from Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Kurdistan, Persia, Poland, Sicily, Spain, Russia, Tunisia and Turkey. There are also challenging essays, reviews and a general section. Featured in the Independent newspaper.


A fascinating and indispensable edition of the august literary journal, covering every aspect of literary translation – a must!'


Read more here.





















































































































































                                 Triple Irish Issue

‘This substantial triple Irish issue of Agenda is an essential read. It represents the tremendous poetic energy in Ireland…This is a handsome book, or anthology, rather than a mere magazine….John Greening, poet and critic, comments: ‘ It deserves to go around the world, which it no doubt will.’
In a poem in the issue, Brendan Kennelly defines poetry as ‘whatever lifts the moon off your back’, and the wealth of poems here do just that…..’
The Independent



‘An indispensable resource….. and enough to whet the appetite for forthcoming issues of this enterprising magazine…’
Irish Times

The Special 75th Birthday supplement in the Irish issue on John Montague ties in well with his book ‘A Smile Between The Stones’, translations from the French of Claude Esteban. (see Agenda Editions)












































































































































































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