Granta Poetry Rachael Allen


I am very inspired by a number of presses in North America, including WAVE books, Ugly Duckling Presse and Black Ocean, and the way these presses (and others like them) create space for erudite, visually innovative, essential books of poetry. As the poetry editor for Granta magazine, I have been lucky enough to publish some of the most exciting contemporary poets. Being able to work with a few of these writers before they had books in mind allowed our first three publications to evolve organically and collaboratively from an early stage. The list really began through these poets’ trust in me.

I edited and published a small-press poetry pamphlet series for a number of years, and retaining the ethics of the small-press and of DIY publishing is very important to me: creating a sense of community, believing in publishing as a space for radical change, and supporting other presses and poets – especially smaller presses – which is where the most essential work happens.

I want the direction of the list to be guided by the work I publish and to always be open to change. But for now; I want to make space for work that might not have space otherwise. I am interested in poetry that doesn’t compromise itself. I like work that engages unashamedly with poetics.

I don’t think we have any particular areas of focus, but I like books of poems that look to break structural binds and cross forms and genres. We have two exceptional books of poems coming in 2021, one of which is Holly Pester’s ludic and essential COMIC TIMING in February.

Will Harris and Daisy Lafarge speak to people and poetry with a vision so generous, so insightful, giving and innovative. They prove to me the importance and necessity of poems to the world.