March 2011April 2011 ArticlesMay 2011

News

Julie Boden in Leamington Spa

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Symphony Hall Birmingham’s poet in residence, Julie Boden, is appearing at the PureandGoodandRight open mic night on Monday 9 May at the Sozzled Sausage in Leamington Spa.  Julie has appeared on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Poetry Societies and Poetry Please, and Radio 3’s The Verb. Her published poetry collections include Through the Eye of a Crow, Wasted Lives, Bluebeard’s Wife, and Aheenthi, which has been translated into Gujarati. She was also Birmingham’s poet laureate in 2002-03...

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News

Friday Night Writers make their bow

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Friday Night Writers – on 13 May - is one of London’s newest events for book launches, readings and open mics, at Swiss Cottage library art gallery. If you read your poetry or prose in the open mic session at each event you’ll have a chance to submit to the annual Friday Night Anthology, published by Ward Wood. The first anthology will appear in June 2012 from this year’s readings.

It isn’t just for London writers –  bookings so far include north of England writers David Cook...

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News

Gillian Allnutt at Beehive Poets, Bradford

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Gillian Allnutt, guest poet at the New Beehive Inn at Westgate, Bradford on Monday 9 May, has published seven collections, including Nantucket and

the Angel and Lintel, both shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize. Her
latest collection is How the Bicycle Shone: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe,
2007).  Time: 8.30 pm. Suggested donation: £3.

More details and map

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News

Early kick-off for Write Out Loud Middleton on Sunday

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Write Out Loud Middleton will be making an early start at the Ring O'Bells this Sunday, 1 May, kicking off at the earlier time of 6.30pm, and finishing at 8.30 pm. Hilary Murray is this month's guest, a master of locally-themed, dialect poetry.  Last month's guest, Rod Whitworth, is this month making his debut as a compere. Why the early start? There's a quiz at the pub at 9. Organisers promise they won't making a habit of such an early kick-off! More details and map 

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News

Cope, Armitage and Maxwell at Norfolk and Norwich festival

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Wendy Cope, Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell headline an impressive array of poets at the Norfolk and Norwich festival from 6-21 May. Cope, who recently sold her archive including 40,000 emails to the British Library for a reported £32,000,  will be appearing on Thursday 12 May at Norwich Playhouse.  

Armitage and Maxwell will be appearing at the Playhouse on Thursday 19 May. There will also be performances from Tim Turnbull, Martin Figura, Molly Naylor, and Hannah Jane Walker at Nor...

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News

Catching the tide: Grimsby's Driftnet Poets

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Driftnet Poets of Grimsby will be joined by Paul Sutherland and Afifa Ematullah to read a selection of poems including a first performance of April Renga, at Grant Thorold library, Durham Road, Grimsby, on Saturday 30 April at 2pm, admission free. Driftnet Poets is a long-established poetry group in Grimsby. Paul Sutherland is a British-Canadian poet, who has had seven collections published. Afifa Ematullah is a Sufi poet and artist who has read her poems widely in the UK, Canada a...

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Competitions

Bridport poetry prize: one of the top awards

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It’s not too late to consider entering for the Bridport poetry prize, one of the most prestigious awards around. First prize is £5,000, and the top four poems are entered for the Forward Prize for Poetry (best single poem category). This year’s judge is Carol Ann Duffy. The closing date for 2011 entries is 30 June. Bridport’s International Creative Competition also has short story and flash fiction categories.  More poetry contest details

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News

Don't mention the royal wedding: Carol Ann Duffy's compromise

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Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has responded to the royal wedding by composing a poem called Rings that does not mention Prince William and Kate Middleton at all.

Rings, published in the Saturday Review of the Guardian, appears as part of an anthology of 22 poems she commissioned from poets across Britain - including the national poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, pictured - in celebration of  weddings and civil partnerships in all their forms. 

Other poets who have contributed include S...

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News

Luke Wright in Liverpool: special WOL offer

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Luke Wright, a regular on BBC Radio 4's Sony Award-winning Saturday Live - he also featured in Channel 4's Seven Ages of Love - is appearing on Wednesday, April 27 at the Unity theatre in Liverpool at 8pm.  In his Cynical Ballads show, Luke shines his light on obese teenagers, jaded chip shop proprietors and posh twits,as he leads us through the run down shopping precincts and airless television studios of modern Britain. There's also a special WOL ticket price.  Quote “Write Out Loud...

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News

Ssshh, it's a secret

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Radio 4 slam finalist Michael Wilson and Mark Mace Smith (aka Thud Dub) are guest poets at the Secret Writers Saturday Night Out at Indiependence, King street West, Wigan on Saturday night, 30 April. Also on the bill is comedy sketch act Kooky Babooshka, pictured, who arrive highly recommended from the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Plus open mic performers from all over the north-west. Doors open at 7.30, show starts at 8, and it’s free. It’s listed as part of the annual Leigh and Wigan Word...

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News

Comeback kid: David Cooke ends his silence

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Congratulations to David Cooke, who has just published his first collection of poetry, In the Distance, in more than 20 years. David, a regular on Write Out Loud,  won a Gregory award in 1977 while a student at Nottingham University. Other recipients of this award for promising young poets over the years have included Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Alice Oswald, Mick Imlah, and Jackie Kay.

A collection, Brueghel’s Dancers, was published in 1984. Then followed a long silence, partly ...

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Ben Mellor’s CD ‘Light Made Solid’ – a review

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Ben Mellor won the Write Out Loud-organised North West heat of the BBC Radio 4 slam championship, before going on to win the final. His recently-released CD is reviewed here by Cynthia Buell Thomas.

Ben Mellor’s CD ‘Light Made Solid’ is a shortened version of his book of the same name. ‘Light Made Solid’ from   “I am light made solid”  (On Paper) is an ingenious summary of his philosophy of modern revolution: it is within the power of the pen to abort society’s dissolut...

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News

Dressing down to write?

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Do you wear special clothes when you are writing? This may seem a daft question – and maybe it is -  but according to a survey by the magazine Mslexia, only 48% of women writers wear “normal” clothes to do their writing in. 

Over 4,000 women writers responded to Mslexia’s survey, which is reported in the latest issue of the magazine. The survey also reveals that one in seven women writers “normally” write in their nightclothes – and one in 50 write naked, either in bed or ...

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News

Backing poet's fight against deportation

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Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall festival presents a poetry evening in support of poet Lily Mosini’s campaign against deportation at the Bluecoat in Liverpool on Thursday 19 May. Reading with Lily Mosini will be poets Rommi Smith and Clare Shaw, award-winning writer Brian Chikwava and Gambian-born novelist Dayo Forster. Lily Mosini has experienced brutal persecution in Iran because of her work, and has the threat of deportation hanging above her – something that would put her life at ris...

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News

Poetry contenders for Wales book of the year

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Three poetry collections have made it on to the long list for Wales book of the year 2011. In Doctor Placebo (Shearsman Books) by Alan Wall, pictured, Doctor Placebo as a medical practitioner broods about his patients; as a writer he broods about his poems. Patrick McGuinness’s Jilted City (Carcanet) finds unforeseen connections between place and displacement. Pascale Petit’s collection, What the Water Gave Me: Poems After Frida Kahlo (Seren), is spoken in the voice of the Mexican paint...

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News

Love in the air at Much Wenlock

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High streets shops in the fetching Shropshire town of Much Wenlock will be displaying their favourite love poems in a nod to the royal wedding, during the second Wenlock poetry festival taking place from 29 April to 1 May.

Organisers promise the streets will be “humming and buzzing all weekend”. Apart from poetry readings from big names including Jo Shapcott, Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage, Jackie Kay and Andrew Motion, there will be performance poetry, poetry choir, poetry take-away...

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News

Linda Chase

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Linda Chase, an important figure on the Manchester poetry scene and beyond, has died after a short illness. A published poet with Carcanet, she was involved in the opening of the Manchester branch of the Poetry School, and, with her friend, musician Chris Davies, started the popular performance series Poets and Players, with venues in South Manchester, the Whitworth Gallery and St Ann's church in the city centre, showcasing new writers and musicians. She grew up on the North Shore of Long Is...

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Competitions

National Poetry Competition: lastminute.chance!

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It's not too late to enter the 2011 National Poetry Competition - and if you're thinking it's far too high a prize to aim for, think again. The 2010 winning poem was by an unpublished poet. Paul Adrian, who saw the entry form for the competition on his library noticeboard. Click here for details on entering.

The closing date is 31 October. First prize is £5,000, second prize, £2,000, third, £1,000. There are also seven commendations: £100 for each. The top three winning poems will be...

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carol ann duffy, News, poetry spending cuts

Arts spending cuts: poet laureate hits back

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The poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has penned an angry poetic response to the Arts Council spending cuts announced just over a week ago. Titled A Cut Back, in the style of Louis MacNeice’s Bagpipe Music, it laments that “the only bloody writing’s now the writing on the wall” and also includes a mention for “coalition shysters” and “pigging bankers”.

Published in the Review section of the Guardian, it is accompanied by notes listing other high-profile poetry casualties of ...

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News

Imploding, inevitably

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A festival much-enjoyed by WOL members - click on the link to see the poem by Joy - is coming up again on 10 and 11 June. Set just 50 metres from the shore of England’s largest and most beautiful natural lake (Windermere), the Imploding Inevitable Festival, now in its second year, prides itself in being one of the few totally independent festivals, and also one of the UK’s most intimate, hosting just 200 weekend tickets. It also takes great consideration of the surrounding area being one...

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News

Blog back in anger

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Do you have something poetic to say about current events in the world? Can you say it evocatively, with passion, rage, compassion and/or humour? A new blog - Poetry 24 - is looking for topical news-related poems, and would be particularly interested in recent YouTube video clips or audio of performance poets. Set up by Liverpool's Clare Kirwan and ex-columnist Martin Hodges, the site has already attracted submissions from poets around the world on subjects as diverse as fat cats and Fukushim...

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News

Bristol's poetry extravaganza

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Bristol Spring Poetry Festival from Friday 15 April to Sunday 17 April brings together entertaining, inspirational and award-winning poets from the Bristol, the south-west, UK and beyond at the Anrolfini arts centre and gallery at Narrow Quay Map.

Featuring Carol Ann Duffy, Liz Bentley, pictured, Opaque and Spoken Word All Stars, it’s a programme for all tastes. You can book tickets now by visiting the Arnolfini website

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News

Arts Council defends poetry funding cut

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The Arts Council has defended its funding cut to the Poetry Book Society (PBS).

In a letter to the Times, Antonia Byatt, pictured, director of literature at Arts Council England, said the "reach and distribution" of the PBS "was not as wide or effective as other applicants'". She added that the Arts Council had "actually increased its investment in poetry and poetry publishing".

She said: "Following the cut to the Arts Council budget we said tough choices would have to be made and tha...

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News

As I was going to St Ives ... for the festival, of course

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The literature festival at St Ives, now in its fourth year, kicked off from Saturday 7 May until Sunday 15 May, with local and national writers, performers and poets covering story-telling and poetry to literary fiction, life writing and popular history.

Organised events take place at St Ives Arts Club, pictured, St Ives Library, the Harbour Bookshop and Cafe Art. There are workshops by professional authors covering the how-to of poetry, storytelling, travel writing, and life writing. Out...

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News

Austin International Poetry Festival

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Describing itself as the ‘world's largest non-juried poetry festival’ and running from April 7-10, this open-mic-focused festival has a fantastic array of events and happenings.

There are readings, workshops and open-mic and round-table opportunities throughout the week, including Night of Poetry – an all-nighter during which an instant anthology is published by Thom Moon Bird, aka Thom the world poet who appeared at Write Out Loud’s heat of the Hammer and Tongue Four Continents s...

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Poem of the month

My Heart's Triumphant Cry

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Alison Johnson chose this months poem. She says of it, "I love this one for all manner of reasons - the rhythm, the way she manages the line breaks to add to the emphasis and meaning, and the emotion of the poem. Is she tongue in cheek, is she angry, is she cleverly putting herself in someone else's place. Wonderful!"

Find out more about Val and her work at http://www.writeoutloud.net/poets/valeriecook


My Heart's Triumphant Cry

This day I will remember
As the first day in my l...

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