Current Issue 

Acumen 107 – September 2023

Acumen 107 has 120 pages of new poems, essays, reviews. New poems including by: Shanta Acharya, David Ball, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Caroline Carver, John Greening, Anthony Head, Jenny Horgan, Christine McNeill, Kim Moore, Michael Swan, Molly Tamarkin, & Rory Waterman. Translations of Zu Ke, Su Xiang & Hans Sahl. Prose includes an interview with Kim Moore, Are You Judging Me Yet?, plus new essays on Russian poet Zinaida Gippius, a barometer of her times, and on Philip Larkin and the Modernist Movement in Poetry.

An annual subscription to the Acumen Journal covers 3 issues packed with great poetry, plus stimulating reviews and essays. It represents great value for money for either yourself or as a thoughtful gift for a poetry-lover.

The latest issue of Acumen made great reading by a wintry fire here in NZ. Proof that intelligent and thoughtful writing is still alive and well in this changing world.

Jan FitzGerald

…the magazine’s flag: sharpness of wit; penetration of perception; keenness of discrimination.

TLS

A beacon in the west, Acumen’s guiding light is valued throughout the world of letters. Printing the best, and not necessarily the most celebrated, is its policy.

Peter Porter

Acumen deserves to be read for its first-hand experience of poetry. The work it does is the opposite of academic and therefore valuable.

Hugo Williams

Long may Acumen continue to publish good poems and interesting articles.

Wendy Cope

Acumen…is well produced and impressively wide-ranging.

The Poetry Review

Good poetry and thoughtful articles and reviews

Sophie Hannah

Acumen is invaluable for the range of original poems it publishes, for its support of translations and for the seriousness of its reviewing.

Alan Brownjohn

Over the years Acumen has just got better and better.

Dannie Abse

Danielle Hope

Editor, on behalf of all the team

Editorial

Welcome to Acumen. Do check out our pages and great poems. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF ACUMEN. And a special thank you to those of you who have renewed your subscriptions and have added a donation, so that we can keep the price lower. If you haven’t renewed your subscription for Acumen, please do so here.

Thank you to everyone submitting poems and prose. We continue to receive a very high number of submissions so thanks for your patience while everything is carefully reviewed. Please remember we do not accept simultaneous submissions, but we consider postal and electronic submissions. To prepare your submission and for more information please see here.

I was delighted to include in Acumen 107 new work by writers across the UK, Europe, North America, India and more, Writing at the turn of the 20th Century, Zinaida Gippius paved the way for Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva, and was a barometer for Russian and European experiences, as the essay in 107 by Peter Eagles considers.

Thanks to all those who joined our online Acumen reading and celebration for Acumen 106, and those who joined our readings in Dulwich. To see more about the events see here. We will be planning a new event to celebrate Acumen 107, more to follow, or follow Acumen on Eventbrite.

I end with lines that have been attributed to Yeats, but more likely originated from English author and playwright, Eden Phillpotts: ‘The universe is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.’ I hope that the coming months give you magical things that your senses can sharpen to find, especially through the troubled world that often surrounds us.

Guest Poems and Young Poets

Acumen’s aim is to be wide-ranging, publishing contemporary poets both known and unknown, relying on the strength of the poetry rather than the name behind it.

Selected poems from each issue are posted on the website as guest poems for the week. We add photographs and very short biographies – a thing we don’t do in the magazine, preferring at that stage to let the poems speak for themselves.

Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton’s alliterative translation of Langland’s medieval Piers Plowman was
published by McFarland of North Carolina in 2014. Poems of Armenian War and
Peace, co-written with Liana Hayrapetyan, appeared in 2019 (Yerevan: EditPrint), and
his two collections Elgar Country and A Colourful Age in 2022 and 2023 (both
Worcester: Black Pear Press). Other poems have appeared in journals, and he often
reads at poetry events. He is an experienced editor and translator. This poem is from Acumen 107.

A. C. Clarke

A. C. Clarke

A. C. Clarke has published five collections and six pamphlets, two of them collaborative. She was a winner in the Cinnamon Press 2017 pamphlet competition with War Baby and has twice won the Second Light Long Poem Competition. She has been commended in the UK National Poetry Competition (2005) and longlisted in it (2014). Wedding Grief, her most recent collection, was published by Tapsalteerie in 2021. This poem is from Acumen 107.

Sidney Lawson

Sidney Lawson

Sidney Lawson, a 17-year-old Foyle Young Poet, deals in characters. Favourite poem: ‘Soliloquy of the Solipsist’ by Sylvia Plath. Favourite song: ‘Cry Me A River’ by Julie London.

Audrey Hunter

Audrey Hunter

Audrey Hunter is a high school senior living in Dallas, Texas, where she is primarily a playwright.
Her work has been produced by The Blank Theatre, The Growing Stage, Stage West, and the
Linden Grove Theatre Co.

We love to publish new and established writers, in our journal and/or on our website and we are proud to have discovered many new voices.
We welcome unpublished poems, translations of poems, articles and debate on poetry covering a wide variety of topics and with different writing styles.
Find out how to submit your poems.

Poetry and Prose

Books and publications

We have a range of quality poetry publications for sale which we hope you will enjoy reading including hardbacks, paperbacks, pamphlets and single issues of the journal.

Electrifying Announcement!

Acumen is among the longest-running literary magazines today.

Patricia Oxley started Acumen in 1985 armed with only an electric typewriter, and without subscribers or contributions. Since then it has grown to one of the country’s leading literary journals.

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