Saboteur Spotlight: Best Magazine 2021, Magma

Congratulations on your recent win at the Saboteur Awards Festival 2021! How did you feel when you found out that you’d been shortlisted this year?

We don’t meet that often as a whole team, there are fifteen of us altogether, but it just so happened that we had a board meeting on the Monday after the awards were announced and we were all thrilled. Magma has been going from strength to strength these past few years and we are very proud to be one of the few poetry magazines that have different editors for every issue, offering a fresh eye on themes that reflect what we feel strongest and most excited about. We also pride ourselves for being a widely inclusive magazine, publishing unknown poets alongside well-known names. A win for Magma is also a win for all our contributors and subscribers.   

Do you feel the pandemic has impacted your work at all; made it harder, or perhaps even easier, to reach people and to promote what you’re doing?

The members of Magma’s editorial board are widespread, from Scotland and the Northwest to London and the Southeast. Meeting virtually has meant that nearly all editors have been able to attend every meeting. The poets we publish too hail from all over the world. In many ways the pandemic has extended our reach. We have launched four issues since the beginning of the pandemic, Magma 76—Resistencia, Magma 77—Act Your Age, Magma 78– Collaborations and Magma 79­–Dwelling. We also recently had a celebration for our poetry competition winners and launched Close River by Alexa Winnik, our second Magma pamphlet competition winner. These events, all held virtually, have given us ample opportunity to experiment with ways of reaching wider audiences, increasing accessibility and including readers from as far away as Australia, Africa and America.    

Are you working on anything at the moment that you might be able to tell us a little about?

Events are still going on both sides of the Atlantic for Magma’s current issue M78 on Dwelling and M81 on The Anthropocene is in the process of being put together by co-editors Yvonne Reddick, Maya Chowdhry and Cheryl Moskowitz. The Anthropocene issue will feature collaborations with poets and geologists, interviews with a diverse range of young poets and the perspective of environmental poet activists from indigenous populations and the Global South. We are very excited about this issue.

Of course, one of the real shortfalls of not being able to run a live awards show is that people miss out on the opportunity to share an acceptance speech. While you’ve got the platform to, is there anything you’d like to share with readers about your win?

As we said earlier, a win for Magma is a win for all our readers and the whole poetry community we represent. We are so grateful to everyone who voted for us! Going forward we are determined to hold on to the gains we have made through wider accessibility and multiple ways of reaching our audiences to include a mix of virtual and IRL events.

For more information about Magma, the magazine and their future plans, you can follow them on Twitter – @magmapoetry – and check out their website, just here.

Make sure you browse the rest of the Sabotage Reviews website for more information on the 2021 Saboteur Award winners.