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Manshen Lo illustrates the latest cover of The Poetry Review


Manshen Lo illustrates the cover of the summer issue of The Poetry Review_. The London based (by way of China) artist is perhaps best known for her intricate pencil illustrations for Nicolas Ménard’s film _Wednesday With Goddard.  Her style, which involves drawing using an ink brush before colouring digitally, gives her work a bold yet delicate feel and the cover invokes this sense of summer.

The issue includes poems on the sea, squid, filial relationships, rain and the dodo by contributors including Heather Christle, Andre Bagoo, A.K. Blakemore, Hugo Williams, Helen Mort, Liz Berry, and many more.

Emily Berry, editor of The Poetry Review tells us, “I was excited to find Manshen’s work when we were looking for potential cover artists. I love her use of colour and line, and the suggestiveness of her subjects, which seem at first simple and then straightaway mysterious. Her work somehow seems to ask a question of the viewer, but without judgement. This spirit of enquiry is something I aim for in my approach to selecting the poems and articles we publish in The Poetry Review, so I was really thrilled she agreed to work with us.”

Speaking about her illustrations, Manshen says: "Poetry Review’s publishing manager Mike Sims contacted me sometime before the end of 2017. He offered me to design the cover of their 2018 spring issue, a proposition I found hard to refuse; a cover artwork is always a special opportunity.

They gave me total freedom, hence I was able to project my full and unaltered interpretation of the magazine. Luckily, they loved the cover, so they invited me to do another one. It’s a rare pleasure to be able to work in the context of a series, where I can playfully unfold a visual universal. For these covers, I wanted to keep my minimal approach and focus on one very simple interaction between characters and elements. It is still about creating a mood with a certain tension that responds to the impression of all the contents – those wonderful poems – as a whole. "

The issue will be launched at London’s Poetry Cafe later this month and will feature readings from Raymond Antrobus, Liz Berry and Martina Evans, with exclusive film-poems by Andre Bagoo and Peter Gizzi.
The Poetry Review launches on 11 July.


Manshen Lo


Manshen Lo