New guest editors announced for The Poetry Review magazine

The Poetry Society is delighted to announce new guest editorships for the Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 issues of The Poetry Review, the world’s leading poetry quarterly. The Society welcomes Colette Bryce as Editor of the Winter 2019 issue, which is published in December. Mary Jean Chan and Will Harris will be joint Editors of the Spring 2020 issue, which is published in March. Regular Editor Emily Berry is taking a short writing sabbatical until Summer 2020.

Colette Bryce, who will edit the Winter 2019 issue, won The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition in 2003 with ‘The Full Indian Rope-Trick’, subsequently the title poem in her second collection published by Picador in 2004. She is a former judge of The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and has been a regular contributor to The Poetry Review – two of her poems will appear in the Autumn 2019 issue and she is among the readers at the launch on 9 October. Colette was Poetry Editor of Poetry London between 2009 and 2013 and will become Editor of Poetry Ireland magazine in 2020. Originally from Derry, Northern Ireland, she now lives in North East England.

Colette Bryce said:
“The Poetry Review occupies an essential place in the UK literary eco-system and, indeed, a great deal of space on my own bookshelves, where I see issues dating back to the early 1990s. That it keeps pace with the contemporary moment, while always in conversation with our long tradition, is a balancing act I’ve admired as a reader and contributor over many years. It will be an adventure for me to step into the desk space of the excellent Editor, Emily Berry, and immerse myself in the poems and slim volumes that arrive in impressive numbers by the day. I look forward to curating a selection of the very best of both for the Winter 2019 issue.”

Mary Jean Chan and Will Harris, who will co-edit the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review, are equally excited about the prospect. Mary Jean Chan is a multi-award-winning poet, editor and lecturer from Hong Kong. Her debut poetry collection, Flèche (Faber & Faber, 2019) was selected as a 2019 Poetry Book Society Autumn Recommendation. She won The Poetry Society’s 2018 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for a version of the book’s title poem, which was first published in the Review. Mary Jean’s poem ‘The Window’ placed second in the National Poetry Competition, and is currently shortlisted for the 2019 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. She is an editor of Oxford Poetry, advisory board member at the Poetry Translation Centre and has reviewed for publications such as The Guardian and Guardian Review as a Ledbury Poetry Critic. Mary Jean is Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and lives in London.

Mary Jean Chan said:
“I am truly excited to be working alongside Will for the Spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review. It will be a joy to contemplate and discuss over the coming months what we would like to feature in our joint issue, not least because of the wealth of talent we see in British poetry today. The Poetry Review was the first poetry magazine I read upon arriving in London in 2014, and I am absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity by Emily to learn and grow in an editorial capacity, and to bring new perspectives to a literary magazine that has nurtured my own creative and critical thinking over the past five years.”

Will Harris is a writer of mixed Anglo-Indonesian heritage, born and based in London. He is an Assistant Editor at The Rialto and a fellow of The Complete Works III. Published in the Bloodaxe anthology Ten: Poets of the New Generation (2017), he was featured in ES Magazine as part of the “new guard” of London poets. His work has appeared several times in The Poetry Review: his poem ‘SAY’, first published in the Review, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018, and he reviews books by Anthony Anaxagorou and Vidyan Ravinthiran in the Autumn 2019 issue. He is the author of the chapbook, All This Is Implied (Happenstance, 2017), and the essay Mixed-Race Superman (Peninsula Press, 2018). His debut poetry collection, RENDANG, is forthcoming from Granta in 2020.

Will Harris said:

“It’s such an honour to be editing the spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review with Mary Jean. I’ve been reading the magazine since I started writing as a teenager, and it’s always been the place I’ve looked to for inspiration and direction: for poems, essays and reviews that reflect a genuine and ever-replenishing plurality of views and styles; for work that, as Cathy Park Hong puts it, has ‘multiple entryways and exits through the soaring use of aberrant vernaculars’. It’s where I’ve discovered poets and discovered what I think about poetry. I hope our issue will do the same for others!”

Mike Sims, Publishing Manager at The Poetry Society, said:

“It will be a pleasure and an education to work with Colette, Mary Jean and Will – all are experienced editors and will have lots of new ideas. Previous guest editorships have proved very popular with readers as every incumbent places their set square slightly differently, subtly reconfiguring the magazine’s content. We’re confident that this will be the case for our Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 issues.”

The Poetry Review is among the world’s most dynamic and influential literary magazines. Published by The Poetry Society since 1912, it has been home to many of the most important and innovative names in poetry, with contributors including Thomas Hardy, Basil Bunting, Simon Armitage, Sharon Olds, Daljit Nagra, Durs Grünbein, Kim Hyesoon and Mary Ruefle. It is one of the most widely read poetry magazines in the English-speaking world with an ever expanding international circulation.

The Poetry Review is published quarterly in March, June, September and December and is available from leading bookshops across the UK and worldwide. A digital version is also published online. A subscription to The Poetry Review (digital and print versions) is an integral part of full membership of The Poetry Society. For membership and subscription details, visit

The magazine is also available to buy in leading bookshops across the UK and around the world; a list of stockists is published on The Poetry Society website.

Look out for the Autumn 2019 issue of The Poetry Review, published on 26 September 2019. Edited by Emily Berry, it includes new poems by Melissa Lee-Houghton, Stanley Moss, Rory Waterman, Jenny Xie, Rachael Boast, Tahila Hakimi and Mark Waldron. Essayists include Rebecca Goss, Nuar Alsadir, So Mayer and Jeremy Noel-Tod. Reviews include new collections by Karen Solie, Jay Bernard, Charles Simic’s translation of Vasko Popa and new pamphlets. The Autumn 2019 issue will be launched on Wednesday 9 October in The Poetry Café, London, with readers Aria Aber, Colette Bryce and Greta Stoddart, and a filmed reading by Stanley Moss; visit for details.


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