DIN Poetry Magazine

DIN Poetry was started with two rather modest aims in mind: to be the most successful poetry magazine in the land and to reinvent the poetry magazine in the process. Sales have suitably chastised us on the first front (to break with editorial tradition I make no bones about telling you that our initial print run was but 200 and of those there are a few left on the shelves). As regards the second aim the position is slightly more positive - we still dare to hope that we represent something of a departure from the poetry magazines that have preceded us.

DIN is a blend of poetry and apocalyptic, 70s, lo-fi graphic design. A friend of mine, who despairs to see illustrations of any sort sullying the page of a literary magazine, remarked of DIN, ‘It’s poetry presented as pop’. This was not intended as a compliment though I did, in part, take it as one. ‘Poetry is for poets’ is a familiar, if rather unfortunate, phrase. I hope that DIN’s design will mean that those who wouldn’t normally find a literary magazine in their hands might just do so.

But why in this day and age a printed poetry magazine? Why not online? It’s a valid point, all the more so for any magazine claiming to break from tradition. Online content continues to dominate, sales of magazines in general are on the decline, while those of literary magazines have always been notoriously low in the first place. All very true, but it seems to ignore the inherent aesthetic strength that the printed page has. For the written word, as well as for the still image, the magazine is a violently more arresting format than the computer screen.

This is not nostalgia or traditionalism. The magazine is a strong format and it has virtues newer technologies don’t. I won’t dismiss its limitations, they are broad and numerous, it is a restrictive format. Nor will I dismiss the strengths of newer technologies. As poetry has become ever more cross-discipline it has moved beyond the printed page in increasingly ingenious ways – from audio installation to sculpture or to phonetic computer programmes. But, looking to the past, ingenuity is as equally often born out of limitation and restriction. Let us hope that continues to be the case with the magazine format also.

With these concerns and the first issue of DIN in mind, our biggest regret is that we didn’t push this format hard enough, that the presentation is a bit pop, that the design works at its best when it’s less accessible. DIN 2 must be better.

Robin Jones, DIN Editor

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DIN Magazine Issue 1 Front Cover

Front Cover of DIN 1

DIN Magazine Issue 1 Back Cover

Back Cover of DIN 1

Two Poems from DIN

DIN-POETRY-SAMPLE-PAGES.pdf (Adobe PDF - 817Kb) On Sanna Beach and Father's Door