About Poetry Wales

Founded in 1965, Poetry Wales is a triannual magazine with an international reputation for excellent poems, features and reviews from Wales and beyond. Emerging from a rich bilingual culture, Poetry Wales explores the diverse perspectives of Welsh poetry in English and its international relationships.

Its interest in translation, and in local and national identities in a global context, are at the forefront of some of the most exciting developments in poetry today. The magazine is open to tradition and experiment, publishing poetry from a wide range of approaches. Against this background of dynamic contrast, it offers a lively and informed critical context for the best contemporary poetry.

Please read a copy of Poetry Wales magazine before submitting to get an idea of the kind of poetry we publish. The magazine welcomes ideas for features to appear in the magazine. If there is an article you would like to write for the magazine, or if you are interested in writing reviews of poetry books for us, please e-mail editor@poetrywales.co.uk

Poetry Wales 60.1: Wave

Taking our inspiration from Tiger Bay and the communities of people that have lived there and in the surrounding area of Butetown, the theme for issue 60.1 is ‘Wave’.  Named after the ripples of waves across the water resembling stripes, Tiger Bay has been the centre of several communities in Cardiff with unique and rich histories. Encompassing communication, community, identity, migration, conflict, intergenerational relationships, desire and more, ‘wave’ is a generous and open callout to sea. We can’t wait to read what comes back!

Cardiff has one of the oldest Global Majority populations in the UK. The majority of the Black population were merchant seamen. Others worked on the docks, and many owned their own boarding houses. The area is cut off: to enter you would have to cross a bridge. Does this make it an island? Does this make it a sanctuary? 

Cardiff historian Neil Sinclair explains that Tiger Bay and Butetown were thought of as ‘slum[s] … targeted, something to be got rid of’ [Day, J. (2021) "Neil Sinclair: the Welshman who put Tiger Bay in the history books" Daily Express, 30/10/202].  Paddy Hillyard coined the term ‘suspect community’ to describe a supposedly ‘problematic’ subgroup of the population singled out for state attention [Hillyard, P (1993), Suspect Communities: People’s Experiences of the Prevention of Terrorism Acts on Britain, London; Pluto]. This is part of  ‘our’ Cardiff story, but is not unique; it runs through tidal rivers from Newport to Notting Hill. How do we respond to and re-imagine all of this? Over to you….

Your poetry might explore, among many things not listed below, ‘wave’ as:

  • a gesture – first and last encounters, warm or intimate encounters, warnings and signals;
  • a call home – migration, community, belonging and sweeping change;
  • a wave of resistance - discrimination, gentrification, liberation, and celebration (carnivals etc);
  • movement – dancing, a flag in the wind, waves of light and sound;
  • emotion – evocative memories, desire, dreams. 

Read our full submissions guidelines, updated for 2024, here

Poetry Wales