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PN Review

Poetry Nation, PN Review

poetry magazine schmidt issue

a British-based periodical dedicated to the publication and criticism of poetry, begun by C. B. Cox and Michael Schmidt in 1973 in twice-yearly hardback form as Poetry Nation; the first issue stated the editors' intention of providing ‘a magazine that expresses and explores the growing consensus among poets’ in favour of ‘clearly formal writing, a common bridling at vacuous public and private rhetoric’. In 1977 the present title was assumed and large-format paperback presentation adopted; under Schmidt's general editorship, PN Review now appears on a bimonthly basis. Eminent among the critics associated with the magazine was Donald Davie; one of its most frequent contributors from the outset, he led a debate on the nature and value of post-modernism which ensued in its pages. Poetry and criticism by C. H. Sisson, Charles Tomlinson, Michael Hamburger, Clive Wilmer, and Jeremy Hooker have also been featured repeatedly. PN Review has succeeded in maintaining what the first issue described as its ‘responsibilities to a vital linguistic and formal heritage’ while remaining keenly interested in more experimental approaches to poetry. During the 1970s and 1980s the magazine printed work by almost every contemporary poet of note; Christopher Middleton, John Heath-Stubbs, Thom Gunn, F. T. Prince, and Les Murray have been among its contributors.

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