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Maurice Riordan takes on Poetry Review editorship


Poet will begin job this summer, following Fiona Sampson's controversial resignation last year

Irish poet Maurice Riordan has hailed the "disturbing and creative energy in the air" as he takes on editorship of the Poetry Review, putting an end to a disturbed couple of years for the UK's most-read poetry magazine.

The award-winning Riordan will begin his role as editor of the quarterly magazine later this year, following a string of recent guest editors including George Szirtes and Bernadine Evaristo, who have run the magazine since former editor Fiona Sampson resigned in February last year after seven years in the post. Sampson's resignation followed a string of issues at the Poetry Society, which publishes the magazine, kicking off with its president Jo Shapcott and director Judith Palmer handing in their notice in the summer of 2011, and also seeing a vote of no confidence made in the board and a delay in the payment of the society's Arts Council England grant.

New editor Riordan's first issue of Poetry Review will be published in September 2013, and the poet said he was keen to "re-establish links with what's happening in poetry elsewhere, initially in North America", as well as to "plug in" to the "creative energy in the air, alongside the vast new reach of our science and technologies".

"It's a good moment for poetry now the century is gathering pace," he said. Riordan, professor of poetry at Sheffield Hallam University, has been shortlisted for both the TS Eliot prize and the Whitbread poetry award, and is the winner of the 2007 Michael Hartnett prize for his collection The Holy Land. The former editors of a magazine that has been published since 1912 include Muriel Spark and Andrew Motion. The March issue is being produced by guest editors Moniza Alvi and Esther Morgan, with Patrick McGuinness guest editing the June 2013 edition.

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