Agenda is one of the best known and most highly respected poetry journals in the world, having been founded in 1959 by Ezra Pound and William Cookson.

It is edited by Patricia McCarthy, who co-edited the magazine with William Cookson for four years until his death in January 2003. She is continuing, as Seamus Heaney said, ‘to uphold the lofty standards of Agenda’.

"Agenda is one of the two literary periodicals in Britain. I admire it for its attentiveness to all kinds of contemporary poetry… and its consistent stress on the importance of poetry in translation from other languages." Thom Gunn

"Agenda, as the title insists, does several things that need to be done if literary culture is to stay in good shape. First of all, it stimulates and sponsors new poetry by poets whose writings and espousals have given the magazine its personality from the beginning. Agenda has a second important function which it discharges by doing work of critical advocacy for poets of marked or under-rated achievement, living and dead." Seamus Heaney

Timeless Quotes by William Cookson >


News & Features


More Agenda News


                            The submissions window is now open

                              Submission Policy Change

      From April 2012 Agenda will only be accepting submissions via e-mail

 Please ensure you visit the Submissions page for full details before sending your submission.




                                   Poetry & Opera Vol 47 Nos 3-4

                                 Publication December 16th 2013



The Poetry & Opera issue of Agenda is dedicated to Seamus Heaney.

The first section contains elegies to Seamus and an essay on him by fellow Nobel Poet Laureate, Derek Walcott.



The human soul is the weight of a snipe

(i m S.H 30th August 2013)

On the day Seamus Heaney died, the children had

just returned to school, suddenly the park was deserted.

Those same children were even now opening their books

to recite Mid-Term Break or When All The Others Were Away

at Mass and knew there would be no more.

At the river, the red rust of  hidden bridge girders

was exposed as I dipped below them onto the shore.

Skeins of words purled over stones

cutting channels in the gravelly river bed.

The blue of sky lying shadow-trapped on the surface of the stream.

Exhorted to keep alive the child within the well spring of poetry,

I thought it fitting to ride the high zip-wire,

straddling its seat, I clutched the chain and just let go. Bright air parted

as I skelped by, hair billowing, squalls surged and curled in my wake.

I plunged and plunged again through gauzy space

almost tumbling into the circling wall of murmuring hazel and alder.

Light as a rising bog bleater this green last day of summer broke open.

                                                                          Jean O'Brien











            Published by Agenda Editions on the 4th October 2013




                          THE ECHOING COASTLINE by Byron Beynon

The Echoing Coastline is Byron Beynon’s seventh eclectic and engaging collection. The changing nuances of the bond between humankind and the natural world form the basis of these lyrical poems which sing in the ear long after they have been read. Thoughtful and observant, humane and cosmopolitan, they are concerned with Wales but look beyond Wales to a wider world, transforming the particular to the universal.



Byron Beynon was born in Swansea and brought up in Carmarthenshire. He has lived and worked in London, Cardiff, Norway, France and Australia. He has worked as a tutor at Swansea University where he has devised, introduced and taught several modules including “The Growth of Anglo Welsh Literature”; “The Pity of War”; “Landscape and Poetry”’, “Home from Home for Thomases”; “The Life and Poetry of Idris Davies”; and “In Two Fields”. He has also been involved in teaching BA Honours degree courses as well as taking Creative Writing workshops at the Dylan Thomas Centre.

He has read his work at a number of venues in Wales; also at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Hay Festival, Cork and the Swedenborg Hall in Bloomsbury, London. His work won an award in the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition and a sequence of his poems, inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, appeared in a Painters and Poets exhibition in Harrow. His work has appeared in numerous publications in the UK, the US and elsewhere and his work has been widely anthologised.

ISBN: 978-1-908527-12-7




               Available to purchase at the Agenda Online Bookshop

              or e-mail for further details.   


                   National Poetry Day Thursday October 3rd 2013

                                'Water, water everywhere'

    As part of National Poetry Day, visit the online bookshop for a discount on

    single copies of Vol 42 No.1 Poems On Water.

   This single issue of Agenda poetry magazine is very refreshing and readable.


             These poems add to the collection of the Poems on Water

                                         in Vol.42 No.1 


In the Editorial, Pádraic Fallon, the important Irish poet (1905-1974) is quoted from his prose writings: ‘The poem finds the poet’. Similarly, the varied poems on the theme of ‘Water’ here seem to have found this issue and shaped it of their own accord, giving this section and the issue as a whole that ‘personality’ which Fallon accords to the most interesting books.               





Patricia McCarthy reads 'Clothes that escaped the Great War', winner of the first prize in the National Poetry Competition 2012



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Click here for Newsletter No 5

































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Thanks to

Art Counci;

With grateful thanks to The Arts Council of Great Britain.

Note for Broadsheet Poets


Notes for Broadsheet Poets 21 now online

Broadsheet 20 & 21 now online







We welcome your comments - please sign our guestbook.


Special Exiles audio feature focusing on home sickness by Irish poet, Eamon Grennan.

From 'Emigration Road', a dramatic recital for two voices (Sean Coyne & Tegolin Knowland from Renvyle, Connemara)


Poem on the Olympics:

                    Phil Cohen: Toasting the 'twentytwelvers'


New poems by Anne Ryland and Belinda Cooke (with photo)

Colin Wilcockson:poem

'Through a Glass Darkly'

Sophie Hannah: Sisson's influence on her novel

Loveday Why, chosen Broadsheet poet, responds to Rory Waterman's review of Don Paterson's Rain in Fiftieth Anniversary issue of Agenda

Mario Petrucci: essay


from  terribilità  to  terribilità


Young essayist who has another essay in the 50th Anniversary issue of Agenda:

N. Bryant Kirkland:

Warts and All

Martial’s Epigrams: A Selection



James Kirkup, born April 23, 1918, and died May 10, 2009:

2 unpublished translations


Eddie Linden remembers John Heath Stubbs


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