Thursday, 8 October, PN Review is celebrating a redesign with a relaunch party at Chapter One Bookshop (Lever Street, Manchester). The event begins at 7 pm. If you’re in the area, please don’t miss the chance to be part of history in the making as this seminal publication emerges from its chrysalis.
I first read PN Review in Room 101 at the University of Glasgow. Back issues graced the shelves of our Creative Writing Center. The year was 2007 and, yes, I was late to the dance. The first issue was published in 1973. It grew to a quarterly publication by 1976 and continued to strengthen its footing until 1981 when it regularly appeared six times a year.
‘Appeared’ is most certainly the wrong word. It sounds as if elves slapdashed each issue together after they were finished tinkering with after-hours shoe repair. Literary magazines don’t just ‘appear’. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to work on the production of a literary magazine, you’ll know that there is nothing ‘easy’ about it. At times enjoyable, yes… challenging, yes… exciting, yes… heartbreaking, yes… but rarely easy. Even the most successful literary journal is ultimately a labor of love. But, decade after decade, PN Review has distinguished itself by providing a quality home for some of the world’s most influential poets. And not just poets. Each issue also features editorials, letters, translations, interviews, and articles.
I’m 5,000 miles away from Room 101 now. It’s no longer easy for me to sit in that cozy environment and read PNR at my leisure. Luckily, I can recreate those good times by taking advantage of the amazing online archives offered on PNR’s website. You have to subscribe but, it’s worth it.
It would please me to know that the loyal friends, readers, and contributors of Mulberry Fork Review joined me in supporting PN Review. I know that many of us have discussed via email the importance of lending our support and readership to publications such as this. If we want to see PNR continue to flourish after this relaunch, we need to subscribe and renew our subscriptions. We also need to be vocal on social media (as well as supporting PNR on Facebook, Twitter, and pnreview.co.uk).
Please let me know if you do manage to attend the relaunch, raise a glass for me if so. Keep me posted on your new subscriptions and what you think of the expansive online archive. I know you’ll love it.
Amy Burns, Managing Editor