'Agenda': a transatlantic feast of poetry that matters

The latest double issue of 'Agenda' poetry magazine, Atlantic Crossings, is an exciting one. It includes a 50th birthday supplement for the Irish-American poet Greg Delanty. A major portion of the 262-page issue consists of a party in verse from both sides of the Atlantic for Delanty. Originally from Cork, he lives in Vermont and has a Guggenheim Fellowship. This issue handsomely brings his innovative poetry to the fore. Essays by Christopher Ricks, Terence Brown, Fiona Sampson and others cover personal, literary and academic angles that illuminate Delanty's work for the reader, and show him to be an important voice for today and the future.

Along with straight talk and erudition, Delanty subverts, inverts, parodies, mouths mongrel and traditional lingos, and even makes up his own words. The introduction points out that this inventive and often cheekily outspoken poet "daringly mixes Cork slang, American drawl, classical allusions, mythological references, Biblical and liturgical language, Gaelic Irish and straight English, as well as puns and clichés into a linguistic hotpot". Dip into these pages and sample this self-confessed "young cleric at St. Brendan's door" who eschews "angelic" sounds in favour of "the common note of an open harp".

Not many journals can boast of two Nobel Prize winners in the one issue, but in this 'Agenda' new work by Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott can be found. Other well-known poets are featured: Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, John F Deane, Brendan Kennelly, Billy Collins, John Montague and Andrew Waterman, to name a few. Contributors hail from the UK, the US, Ireland, Canada, Australia, the West Indies, and also Egypt, the Czech Republic, Russia, Poland and Hungary.

The recurring theme of Exile subtly knits together an issue divided neatly into sections on exile/place through graphic poems in pencil, watercolour and chalk by Johnny Marsh. Meaty essays complement the poetry and give challenging insights into Delanty and other poets. The standard, as usual with 'Agenda', is consistently high and energetic, and gives much food for thought.

Two talented young poets appear as part of a series which heads the online 'Broadsheet 11' for young poets and artists. This time the 'Notes for Broadsheet Poets' series stresses education both for poets and their mentors/teachers. The 'Notes' comprise an essay by a former chosen young poet, Caroline Clark, on what inspired her to write poetry and gave her confidence: helpful stuff for young and old poets alike.

This year marks 'Agenda''s 50th anniversary. The magazine deserves support to ensure that it flourishes into the future, at the cutting edge of a poetry that matters. As one of the most famous and long-standing poetry journals, it is a vital part of the national archive.

Individual subscriptions cost £28, £22 for student/OAP, £35 for libraries and institutions. Send to The Editor, 'Agenda', The Wheelwrights, Fletching Street, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6TL; email: editor@agendapoetry.co.uk, or subscribe online (and visit the vibrant website): www.agendapoetry.co.uk. Tel: 01435 873703

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Alexis Sanchez, Alan Pardew and Graziano Pelle
footballAfter QPR draw, follow Villa vs Arsenal, Newcastle vs Hull and Swansea vs Southampton
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam