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In this special event, celebrating the 88th issue of one of the UK’s most prestigious poetry magazines, audiences will be led through the murky and fascinating terrains of the Underworld. 

With a focus on ecologies, groundwork, concealed networks, and the physical landscape, a series of live performances will explore the textures, musicality, and imagery of the undergrowth, from the intricate networks of the wood wide web to the meanderings of worms. Across poetry and short film, familiar mythologies will resurface through their own invention; odes will be written to parasites; mycorrhiza will come to the surface in an interconnected song. 

The evening will be introduced by the magazine’s editors - Leo Boix, Ella Duffy, and Kate Simpson – before a series of readings from some of the UK’s most captivating names in ecopoetry, geopoetics, and climate writing, including Fiona Benson, L. Kiew, Jemma Borg and Meryl Pugh. These readings will be interspersed with screenings from world-renowned artists Pablo Bronstein and Jessica Sarah Rinland. Submerge your spirits in the gnarly roots of what lies beneath. 

Meet the poets

Leo Boix is an Argentine-British poet, translator and journalist based in the UK. His first English collection, Ballad of a Happy Immigrant, was a PBS Wild Card Choice. Boix has won the Bart Wolffe Poetry Award, the Keats-Shelley Prize, a PEN Award, and The Society of Authors’ Foundation & K. Blundell Trust.

Kate Simpson is a poet, editor, and critic based in Yorkshire. Her 2021 anthology, Out of Time: Poetry from the Climate Emergency, was a Guardian Book of the Year. She is currently based at the University of Leeds’ Poetry Centre as part of the UK’s first Extinction Studies Doctoral Training programme.

Ella Duffy is a Bristol-based poet. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets, New Hunger (Smith|Doorstep) and Rootstalk (Hazel Press), which was shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards. She is the editor of Seeds & Roots, a botanical poetry anthology. In 2019, she was the winner of the 2019 Live Canon International Poetry Competition. 

About Magma

Magma is one of the UK’s most prestigious poetry magazines. Its aim is to promote the very best in contemporary poetry: writing that’s alert to the world we live in, that’s honest and above all, unexpected. Magma has published the likes of Seamus Heaney, Don Paterson, Sean O’Brien, Alice Oswald, Al Alvarez, Wendy Cope, George Szirtes, Gillian Clarke, John Burnside and Mark Doty amongst others, and features a new editor and theme every issue. Issue 88: Underworld, considers emerging cultures, communities and modes of thought, as well as more-than-human modes of communication, in the search for a new ecopoetic.

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

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Key Information

Open to all
19 April 2024, 7.00pm-9.00pm
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Member £10.00, Non-member £12.00
Member £5.00, Non-member £6.00
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