WELCOME to Acumen’s website. Acumen is among the longest-running literary magazines today. Patricia Oxley started Acumen in 1985 armed with only an electric typewriter, and without subscribers or contributions. Since then it has grown to one of the country’s leading literary journals.
Its name ACUMEN came out of nowhere during an evening discussion. It seemed appropriate as the dictionary definition states ‘sharpness of mind, penetration of judgement’: just what an editor needs when trying to judge poems, prose and articles!
It began as a biannual, (what else when typing all the contents by hand?) but in 1994 changed to three times a year, a frequency it has kept since. Gradually computers, emails, facebook, all began to be an integral part of the magazine.
Subsequently, others joined the editorial board: Glyn Pursglove (Reader in English at Swansea University) in 1988 became Reviews Editor; then Danielle Hope (King’s College London) in 1998 as Advisory editor. And William Oxley organises the Interviews, comes up with Ideas and generally supports the magazine in other important ways.
Its initial aim was to be wide-ranging, publishing contemporary poets both known and unknown, relying on the strength of the poetry rather than the name behind it. Illustrious poets from the past weren’t forgotten, with readable essays and critiques on the work of well-loved and well-known poets from other centuries. The magazine has kept to these aims, enlarging them with other stimulating ideas.
Poems from each issue are posted on the website as guest poems for the week. We add photographs and very short biographies – a thing we don’t do in the magazine, preferring at that stage to let the poems speak for themselves. If a poet from the current issue is doing readings, launches etc, these dates can often be found on the website so you can hear more of the poet. All reasons to subscribe to Acumen and follow us on facebook.
Thank you for subscribing to the magazine and to the Arts Council for supporting us.