Now out! 

Acumen 109 – May 2024

Dive into a captivating world of poetry with Acumen 109 for a rich and diverse exploration of contemporary poetry, including 120 pages of original works, translations, articles, tributes, and critical commentary. It features a myriad of new work by talented poets such as Kathleen McPhilemy, Chris Athorne, Wendy Webb, Sue Hubbard, Neil Beardmore, Lola Haskins, L.B. Jørgensen, David McCorkindale, Kathryn Kimball, Peter Robinson, Beth Junor, Jeremy Page, Clifford Liles, Alex Wong, Edmund Prestwich, Jeremy Page, Adam Cairns, Tony Hargreaves, Bethany Pope, Matt Gilbert, Michael Henry and many more. Discover new poetry in translation, featuring works by Wáng Wēi, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak, Miguel de Cervantes, Rainer Maria Rilke and others, transporting you across borders and time.
Read about Semyon Lipkin in ‘The Sound and Vision of a ‘Noiseless Poet’, and journey through the profound landscapes of Ruth Bidgood’s Poetry and explore the pastoral poetry of Edward Storey. Delve into insightful reviews and commentary that offer fresh perspectives on the art and craft of 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.

I was very struck by how generously Acumen supports new poets, and by the quality and variety of the translations. Well done!

Alison Brackenbury

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

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

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

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

Wendy Cope

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

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


Acumen…is well produced and impressively wide-ranging.

The Poetry Review

Over the years Acumen has just got better and better.

Dannie Abse

Danielle Hope

Editor, on behalf of all the team


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.

Sarah Hehir

Sarah Hehir

Sarah Hehir is a poet and playwright from the industrial north. Her writing explores and exposes abuse of power, shifting the control of the narrative away from authority and giving voice to marginalised individuals and communities. Since winning the inaugural BBC Writer’s Prize in 2013, she has written for radio, TV and film. Her plays have been staged across London, throughout The Balkans and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This poem is from Acumen 109.

Seán Street

Seán Street

Seán Street’s most recent collection is Running Out of Time (Shoestring Press, March 2024). Prose includes works on Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Dymock Poets, and several studies of sound poetics, the latest being Wild Track: Sound, Text and the Idea of Birdsong, published in July 2023 by Bloomsbury Academic. This poem is from Acumen 109.

Robin Kathaas

Robin Kathaas

Robin Kathaas (any pronouns) is a Belgian writer who now lives, loves, and laughs in the United Kingdom. His cat is the most interesting thing about him.

Angelin Lee

Angelin Lee

Angelin Lee is a writer from California. She’s always loved writing and uses her works to express the thoughts she cannot say out loud.

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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