Skip to content

Where were the ‘Best of British’ poems first published?

Best of British Poetry 2012

Poet friend of mine and soon-to-be-blogger Jo Grigg mentioned she had been reading The Best British Poetry 2012 so I invited her to write about it here. It is Jo’s first guest blog post on Poetgal.

The second volume of this British version of a longstanding US anthology has now thundered through my letterbox. Hurrah! Its 70 poems are selected from the year’s UK poetry magazines.

As with any anthology, how much you enjoy them depends on how much you have in common with the editor. This year’s is Sasha Dugdale and I’m enjoying many of them so far. Along with the poems come each poet’s remarks given in the second section of the book following a brief biog. Some of these remarks are enlightening about the writing process. Others are odd, which is (oddly) reassuring. In the US version you sometimes read ‘the poem should stand on its own without me having to explain it’.

One of the reasons behind the anthology is to draw attention to poets who are not yet published in pamphlet or collection form, because the big prizes select mostly from published collections. There’s also a good showing of established poets. It demonstrates the variety within the poetry mag business, and draws attention to individual magazines.

I looked at which magazines the poems in Best British are taken from – would this represent a ‘best magazines’ list, and if so, might I investigate and then subscribe to one or two of them? Though does having a poem in here mean they are ‘better’ than the many magazines not represented? It is at least a starting point for those unable to get to the Poetry Library at London’s South Bank to spend time submerged in magazines, pamphlets and collections. Here’s my listing:

Magazine / Number of entries

10th Muse 1

13 Pages 2

Agenda 1

Ambit 2

Blackbox Manifold 1

Brand 1

Brittle Star 1

Cambridge Literary Review 2

Clinic 2

Dark Horse, The 1

Delinquent, The 2

Edinburgh Review 1

Fuselit 1

Halfcircle 1

Horizon Review 1

London Review of Books 2

Magma 4

Modern Poetry in Translation 4

New Linear Perspectives 1

New Welsh Review 2

North, The 2

PN Review 7

Poet’s Calendar, The 1

Poetry and Audience 1

Poetry London 9

Poetry Review 5

Poetry Wales 2

Rialto, The 4

Stand 2

Warwick Review, The 2

White Review, The 1

Wolf, The 1

The Best British Poetry 2012, edited by Sasha Dugdale, series edited by Roddy Lumsden, published by Salt, 2012. Cover price £9.99.

Published inBooksMags & BlogsSerendipity

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Robin Houghton 2021
%d bloggers like this: