Marvin Thompson and Zoë Brigley Thompson are the first poets to join Poetry Wales as joint editors to the magazine with Thompson the journal’s first editor of colour.
The pair plan to engage more writers from under-represented backgrounds as well as exploring climate change.
Marvin Thompson was born in London to Jamaican parents and now lives in south Wales. He recently won the National Poetry Competition 2020. His debut collection Road Trip (Peepal Tree Press, 2020) is a Poetry Book Society recommendation, a National Poetry Day recommended poetry book in 2020 and was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year.
He said of his new role: “I am overjoyed to be appointed as the new editor of Poetry Wales with Zoë Brigley. What this says about Poetry Wales as an institution is massive. Championing diversity goes beyond performative acts such as black squares on Instagram. Part of fighting for a more inclusive world is providing equal opportunities. This is what Poetry Wales afforded me. I now stand as the first editor of colour to work for this illustrious journal.
The poet added: “As always, I dedicate my success to my parents, my partner and my Dual Heritage paternal children and step-children. With Zoë, I look forward to promoting poets from under-represented backgrounds. We will work hard to highlight issues of equality and ecology for Wales and the wider world.”
Zoë Brigley Thompson (pictured right) is the author of three books of poetry: Hand & Skull, Conquest and The Secret, all published by Bloodaxe. She is also the co-editor of a new anthology of poetry 100 Poems to Save the Earth (Seren).
“It is an incredible honour for me to edit Poetry Wales with Marvin, the magazine that I first published a poem in when I was just 18,” she said. “Poetry Wales will continue to be a necessary and important space for Welsh writers, including Welsh working class poetry, and innovative writing. We also want Poetry Wales to be a magazine of choice for writers who have traditionally been under-represented, and a key space for beginning writers to find resources and advice. Poetry Wales will also be engaging with one of the greatest struggles of our times—the fight to prevent climate disaster.”
Founded in 1965, Poetry Wales is the national poetry magazine of Wales. It publishes poetry, features and reviews in its triannual print and digital editions.