Current issue! 

Acumen 108 – January 2024

Acumen 108 spans 120 pages and offers a rich tapestry of poetry, prose, and reviews. The issue features both prominent and emerging poets including: Colin Pink, Wendy MacIntyre, Tom Harding, Dinah Livingstone, Colin Bancroft, Jock Stein, Stella Hervey Birrell, Stephen Boyce, Jeanette Burney, Ágnes Cserháti, Deborah H. Doolittle, Ian Glass, Jemma L King, Orlaine McDonald, Chris Powici, Richard Schiffman and many more.
Poetry in Translation with the work Ricarda Huch, translated by Timothy Adès.
Special Features include: Prometheus Unbound: Philip Dunkerley delves into the enduring relevance of the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, reflecting on its significance and impact; Duncan Forbes explores the work of Gerda Mayer, focusing on her poem ‘Make Believe’; and David Perman sheds light on the relationship between Bridges and Hopkins and their roles as critical friends in the world of poetry. The Reviews segment features critiques by Kathryn Southworth, Edmund Prestwich, Stephen Miller, and others, providing readers with a comprehensive overview of recent literary works and their reception.

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.

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 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

Over the years Acumen has just got better and better.

Dannie Abse

Good poetry and thoughtful articles and reviews

Sophie Hannah

Acumen…is well produced and impressively wide-ranging.

The Poetry Review

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

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

TLS

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.

Stephen Boyce

Stephen Boyce

Stephen Boyce is the author of three poetry collections, ‘Desire Lines’ (Arrowhead 2010), ‘The Sisyphus Dog’ (Worple 2014) and ‘The Blue Tree’ (Indigo Dreams 2019), described by Philip Gross as ‘a seamless weave of thought, perception and emotion’. His most recent pamphlet collection is ‘The Unforgiving Knot’ (Marlott Press 2020). Stephen is co-founder of Winchester Poetry Festival and lives in north Dorset. stephenboycepoetry.com

Bridget Khursheed

Bridget Khursheed

Bridget Khursheed is a poet and geek based in Scottish Borders. She is a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award winner for poetry. Her most recent collection ‘The Last Days of Petrol’ is available from Shearsman Books. Learn more: https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poet/bridget-khursheed/

Michael Liu

Michael Liu

Michael Liu is a writer from Naperville, Illinois. For Michael, writing has always been a way to question who he is and explore the culture and community he belongs to.

Ella Pheasant

Ella Pheasant

Ella Pheasant is a student from Bristol, studying creative writing in Gloucestershire. She has been published in Snakeskin, and her works are inspired by Helen Ivory and the whimsical world of Fiona Apple.

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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