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 >
More Agenda News
Tony Conran: Three Symphonies (Agenda Editions 2016)
ISBN: 978-1-908527-25-7 Price £10 plus p&p Publication date: June 2016 Available to purchase from the Agenda Bookshop
Events to celebrate the launch of Three Symphonies
The Conran Poetry Chorus will perform selections from each of the Symphonies at the following events to celebrate the launch of Tony Conran’s final volume of poetry:
Bangor: Wednesday 06 July 2016 7.30pm PL2 Pontio, Deiniol Road, LL7 2TQ. Admission free, drinks will be served
Cardiff: Friday 09 September, 2016 7.30pm, The Common Room, Chapter, Market Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QE. Full details to follow.
Aberystwyth: Saturday 08 October 2016 7.30pm Y Drwm, National Library of Wales, Penglais Road, Aberystwyth SY23 3BU Full details to follow
London: The Art Workers’ Guild, Queens Square, London, WC1N 3AT as the final event in a one day colloquium of the David Jones Society ‘(Starlight Order)’. Autumn 2016 Date to be confirmed.
In his final group of
symphonies, Conran explores life, love, theology, creation, creativity and even
historical themes using a wide range of poetic and imaginative techniques. The
three symphonies complement and contrast with each other and show the poet still
at the height of his imaginative power. The imagery draws on science, religion,
family life (in The Magi), work (in Fabrics), the poetic and creative experience
(in Everworlds); displaying humour, wonder and compassion for the human
In his perceptive introduction to the poetry
Jeremy Hooker writes: ‘Three Symphonies draws on their maker’s
life-story, but as part of the story of life itself, and with an objectivity
that subsumes personal emotion in a larger rendering of human experience in
relation to the natural and divine creation. What Conran enacts in these poems
is a sacred drama.’
Tony Conran, biographical note.
Tony Conran (1931-2013) was an ambitious and accomplished poet, a daring Modernist, in the line of Pound, Bunting, MacDiarmid and David Jones. An outstanding translator of Welsh language poetry, he built on the radically different relationship between the poet and society he found there to create a distinctive, powerful and humane poetic vision. His many volumes of poetry include Blodeuwedd (Poetry Wales Press 1988) Castles (Gomer 1993) and What Brings You Here So Late (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch 2008). He was also a perceptive and often challenging critic, a dramatist and an influential teacher at the University of Bangor in North Wales.
Born in India, Tony Conran was brought up in Liverpool and Colwyn Bay, worked for a short time in Chelmsford before settling in Bangor. He was deeply interested in music – classical and folk traditions; science – including botany, chemistry and geology; theology and political theory. He translated Dante and Latin poets as well as Welsh poetry.
Other publications include Welsh Verse (Seren 1986), Peacemakers (Gomer 1997, translations of the poetry of Waldo Williams), Frontiers in Anglo Welsh Poetry (University of Wales Press 1997, critical essays).
Launch Event for Three Symphonies by Tony Conran
The Conran Poetry Chorus performed in Bangor on 6th July in celebration of the publication of Three Symphonies – the final unpublished volume of poetry of their founder and inspiration, the late Tony Conran. An enthusiastic audience of poetry lovers enjoyed a vibrant performance which included music by local musician and composer Sioned Webb on harp, pipe and percussion. The readers were - actor Dyfan Roberts, voice performers Sheila Brook and John Griffiths and Lesley Conran who now directs the group.
Lesley Conran, Sheila Brook and Dyfan Roberts
The next performance and South Wales launch will be: Cardiff: Friday 09 September, 2016 7.30pm, The Common Room, Chapter, Market Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QE. Full details to follow. Followed by -
Aberystwyth: Saturday 08 October 2016 7.30pm Y Drwm, National Library of Wales, Penglais Road, Aberystwyth SY23 3BU. Full details to follow
London: Saturday 11 March 2017, The Art Workers’ Guild, Queens Square, London, WC1N 3AT as the final event in a one day colloquium of the David Jones Society ‘(Starlight Order)’. Autumn 2016. Full Details to follow.
The submissions window has now opened - 1st June 2016
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.
Visit the Audio page for special feature:
How to improve reading poetry aloud by Marek Urbanowicz
Vol 49. Nos 3-4 New Generation Poets Published 7th March 2016
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