Even though you can't get to the National Poetry Library to catch up with the latest poetry magazines at the moment, there are plenty of ezines you can read online for free.
Here are just a few of our favourites:
Founded in 2016 by a group of graduates from the University of Birmingham, Porridge is a visually appealing, self-assured magazine with an international flavour and a cult following. It’s not just a poetry magazine, but the poetry sits comfortably alongside short stories, reviews and non-fiction articles. The current online selection includes a variety of poems by up-and-coming names, an overview of Czech avant-garde cinema, a photographic travelogue from Albania, an article about goulash and a thought-provoking piece entitled ‘It’s Hard Being a Poet in 2020’. Touché. And for the traditionalists out there, you can buy a print version to adorn your magazine-rack.
Voicemail Poems is a spoken word-based magazine that brings the poet’s voice to the forefront. In order to submit, poems must be recited into a voicemail inbox. The low quality audio gives a rather intimate quality, described by the editors as “missed calls you actually want to hear”. Selected poems for each seasonal issue are then published on both the zine’s website and Soundcloud. An accompanying podcast further adds to the multimedia experience, featuring an in-depth exploration of each recording by hosts Logen Cure and I.S. Jones. Within the current issue, Nour Kamel questions femininity as she calls from Egypt, US poet Timothy Prolific Edwaujonte evokes an image of ritual celebration, alongside work by several other talented poets.
'Amberflora' is a scientific term that means plants preserved in fossil resin, a beautifully apt name for this online journal dedicated to publishing experimental eco-poetry and world poetry. Released quarterly, the latest issue contains a stunning lyric essay by Alison Glenny titled 'Notes for a History of Birdsong' – Glenny writes, “for the sake of the lyric the bird itself must remain dark or unseen.” Amberflora welcomes translations and reviews, and especially encourages submissions from non-white writers, indigenous writers, and LGBT+ writers.
Datableed Zine is an experimental online poetry platform edited by Nell Perry and Juha Virtanen. They look for work that bends genre and form, and welcome all sorts of “visceral ephemera” including visual poems, video poems, sound experiments, collaborations and manifestos. Issue 12 includes a haunting ghazal by Indo-Swiss poet Pratyusha, a poem written for Sean Bonney by Nat Raha, and a clever visual poem by Glasgow poet Sean Wai Keung featuring a vast list of all the Shaolin kung fu movies ever made, interspersed with lines of poetry: “no matter what happens here tonight I will continue onwards just like in the movies.”