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.

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

Over the years Acumen has just got better and better.

Dannie Abse

Good poetry and thoughtful articles and reviews

Sophie Hannah

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

Alan Brownjohn

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 well produced and impressively wide-ranging.

The Poetry Review

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


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

Wendy Cope

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.

Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Sue Wallace-Shaddad

Sue Wallace-Shaddad has an MA from Newcastle University/Poetry School London. She has two published pamphlets: Sleeping Under Clouds (Clayhanger Press, 2023) and A City Waking Up (Dempsey and Windle, 2020). Her poems have featured in Artemis, London Grip, The High Window, Fenland Poetry Journal, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Poetry Scotland among others. Sue writes regular poetry reviews. She is Secretary of Suffolk Poetry Society and digital writer-in-residence for The Charles Causley Trust’s blog The Maker. This poem is from Acumen 109.

Adam Cairns

Adam Cairns

Adam Cairns is a poet from South Wales. He has an MA in Poetry Writing from Newcastle University and his poems have been published in many journals and anthologies. He is the owner of Poetry Works, bringing the tools and techniques of poetry to business, This poem is from Acumen 109.

Lily Finch

Lily Finch

Lily Finch is from Ramsgate, by the sea. She studied English at Oxford, and is now doing a masters in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths.

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.

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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