NEWS: ACUMEN 101 is being sent out. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF ACUMEN. If you haven’t renewed your subscription for Acumen 101, please do so now to get a copy.
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 in 1998 as Advisory editor. William Oxley organised the Interviews, and came up with ideas and generally supported the magazine in other important ways until his sad death in 2020. Patricia and William had planned to pass on the editing of Acumen after issue 100.
From issue 101, Danielle Hope becomes the new editor (email – firstname.lastname@example.org). Patricia Oxley is advisory editor as well as founder editor. Andrew Geary (email – email@example.com) becomes the new reviews editor. David Perman takes on organising the interviews. Please keep an eye on these pages for more updates.
We held a celebration of issue 100, virtually on 4 June. In this event Patricia talked about how she founded the magazine, Glyn about his work reviewing, and Danielle and several poets in issue 100, and long supporters of the magazine joined this wonderful occasion. We will be planning another virtual reading to celebrate issue 101. Watch this space for details.
Acumen’s aim is 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 won’t be 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 since its start, enlarging them with other stimulating ideas.
Selected 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.
Thank you for subscribing to the magazine, and please do continue to support us going forward. Thanks also to the Arts Council for supporting Acumen for many issues in the past. However, Acumen is now an Independently Funded magazine.