It was edited by Roland Robinson, Grace Perry and others in the first twelve months; Perry became editor in 1962, continuing until 1964. In that year, a special issue that contained the untranslated works of foreign authors drew strong criticism from other members of the Poetry Society. Because of the conflict, Perry left to establish her own magazine, Poetry Australia, pursuing her goals of an international magazine. Robinson, after a short absence from the society, returned as President and primary editor of the magazine in 1965, ensuring that Poetry Magazine retained a strong Australian focus.
Robinson's policies were challenged in 1968 when Robert Adamson joined the editorial committee, bringing his strong appreciation of American writers and non-traditional poetics. In 1969, Adamson's 'Young Poets' special issue introduced many new 'modern' poets to Poetry Magazine, challenging the poetry 'establishment' of writers such as A. D. Hope and James McAuley. After a special meeting of the Poetry Society was called to 'discipline' Adamson, the newer members asserted their voting power over the older generation. Subsequently, Adamson, Greg Curtois and Carl Harrison-Ford were elected to prominent positions in the Poetry Society. Robinson, unable to assert his more traditional editorial policies, resigned in protest.
Poetry Magazine gradually evolved into a periodical that favoured modern poetics. In February 1971 Poetry Magazine was renamed New Poetry, signalling a clean break from the more traditional verse Robinson had fostered in the 1960s. New Poetry became a significant supporter of poets who are generally grouped under the banner of New Australian Poetry.