It turns 45 this year, and PN Review (which started life back in 1973 as Poetry Nation) is still going strong, appearing bi-monthly jampacked with news, articles, interviews, features, poems, translations, reviews and letters. The Manchester-based poetry and criticism magazine has decided to mark the occasion – and the launch of the July-August 2018 issue – with a summer party. The do will take place at Castlefield Gallery; rather appropriately as PN Review has a new cover-curator, Rod Mengham, who has selected Agnes Thurnauer’s ‘Palindrome’ as the cover art for issue 242.
And as well as welcoming 242 into the world, this event (which will become a regular fixture on the live lit scene, with a winter launch also already chalked up) will be a chance to applaud the two winners of the recent PN Review Poetry & Translation Prize: Cambridge-based translator and poet James Womack and West Yorkshire-based former librarian Chris Preddle.
Also flying the West Yorkshire flag is Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds (and Oxford University), and the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. He has published 11 collections of poetry, including Paper Aeroplane: Selected Poems 1989-2014 (which he read from at the cathedral during Manchester Literature Festival), two novels and the non-fiction bestsellers All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away, set along the Pennine Way.
PNR general editor Michael Schmidt (also the founder and editorial and managing director of poetry publishing house Carcanet Press) will introduce these plus another two contributors: Fiona Moore, whose first collection The Distal Point has just been published by Happen Stance Press and will be a PBS Autumn Recommendation, and PEN New Voices Award nominee and Carcanet New Poetries VII anthology poet Vala Thorodds, who will read from Waitress in Fall, her forthcoming English-language translations of Icelandic poet Kristín Ómarsdóttir.