Magma Poetry Launch on Solitude

Co-hosted by editors of Magma 83 Solitude Issue Lisa Kelly and Isabelle Baafi

Date: Saturday 30th July
Time: 11:30
Venue: theatre
Price: £5.00 / £3.00

This event will include BSL interpretation

This launch celebrates issue 83 of Magma Poetry on the theme of solitude edited by Isabelle Baafi, Ilya Kaminsky, and Lisa Kelly.

Join us for the magazine launch of Magma 83, the Solitude issue, edited by Isabelle Baafi, Ilya Kaminsky, and Lisa Kelly, and produced with the support of the Foyle Foundation. The Solitude issue features work that explores the shades and experiences of solitude in all its forms – whether foetuses in the womb, lone travellers lost in the wilderness, migrants remembering those they’ve left behind, individuals navigating a breakup, or artists and vandals working in the dead of night. By navigating the rocky – and at times, lonely – terrains of grief, trauma, shame, social distancing, and the stumbling blocks of romance, the poems in this issue form a space for readers to bring their loneliness, their reticence, their touch starvation, and to partake in a mutual exchange fuelled by empathy and warmth.

Published during the ongoing pandemic, the issue challenges readers to consider the importance of community and the nature of connection. What does it mean to seek one’s own company? What revelations, transformations, and perils lie waiting in that quietude? Where does solitude end and loneliness begin? How much more can we achieve if we feel connected and empowered to work together? We will be joined by several contributors to the issue (names to be confirmed soon).

This event will include BSL interpretation


Isabelle Baafi is the Reviews Editor at Poetry London. Her debut pamphlet Ripe (ignitionpress, 2020) won a Somerset Maugham Award and was a PBS Pamphlet Choice. Her writing has been published in The Poetry Review, The London Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, and elsewhere. She won Second Prize in the 2022 London Magazine Poetry Prize, and was awarded the 2019 Vincent Cooper Literary Prize. She is also a Ledbury Poetry Critic, an Obsidian Foundation Fellow, and an editor at Magma. She is currently studying Creative Writing at Kellogg College, Oxford, and writing her debut collection. Photo credit: Sarah Kiki Nyanzi

Lisa Kelly is half Danish and has single-sided deafness from childhood mumps. Her pamphlets are From the IKEA Back Catalogue (New Walk Editions, 2021), Philip Levine’s Good Ear (Stonewood Press, 2018) and Bloodhound (Hearing Eye, 2012). Her poems appear in Carcanet’s New Poetries VII and her debut collection, A Map Towards Fluency, was published by Carcanet in 2019. She is learning British Sign Language.

Jenny Mitchell is winner of the Poetry Book Awards 2021 for her second collection Map of a Plantation, chosen as a ‘Literary Find’ in the ‘Irish Independent’ and a Poet’s Recommendation (Poetry Society). She won the Bedford Poetry Prize 2021, the Ware Prize 2020, the Folklore and Aryamati Prizes, a Bread and Roses Award and several other competitions. A debut collection, Her Lost Language, is joint winner of the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize and was voted One of 44 Books of 2019 (Poetry Wales). Her third collection is called Resurrection of a Black Man (Indigo Dreams Publishing).

Amaan Hyder is the author of At Hajj (Penned in the Margins, 2017). He is a doctoral student at Royal Holloway and a Ledbury Poetry Critic. His poetry has appeared in various publications including The Guardian and Poetry Review, and he was shortlisted in the 4thWrite Short Story Prize 2021.

Billie Manning is a poet from Hackney. She is a Barbican Young Poet and has been published by Bad Betty, Magma, Bath Magg and Popshot. She also teaches poetry courses at City Lit.

alice hiller -interposing her medical notes with historic materials from Pompeii and Herculaneum, alice hiller’s debut, bird of winter, gives creative witness to her experience of childhood sexual abuse. Published by Pavilion Poetry, it also asks where we find healing beyond this crime. Exploring the agency and transformations that art-making generates, it was short-listed for the Forwards and John Pollard prizes. A features journalist, with a PhD from UCL, she is a judge for the 2022 Forwards Prize. Photo credit: Julian Maddison

Jack Houston is a father and public-library worker from London. As part of his library work he organises what is now the longest-running publicly funded online poetry workshop in the world (new members are always welcome and can email for more information). His poems have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Finished Creatures, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry London and The TLS. His short fiction has been shortlisted for the Brick Lane Bookshop Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award. In 2022 The Emma Press published his debut poetry pamphlet, The Fabulanarchist Luxury Uprising.