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News

Betjeman slam at Wantage festival

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A poetry slam is planned as one of the attractions at a festival celebrating Sir John Betjeman’s long associations with the Oxfordshire town of Wantage from 11-17 September. There are also poetry workshops and readings featuring Jane Draycott, Ros Barber, and Valerie Laws, plus a host of other literary events, as well as a teddy bears’ picnic and a silver band.  The slam – we’re sure the great man would have approved – is on Monday 12 September at 7.30 pm at Shush, The Regent Mall, Newbury St...

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News

Spreading the word: independent poetry presses show off wares

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Two fairs are displaying the wares of independent poetry presses this Saturday – in Leeds and London. Leeds Independent Presses Poetry Festival (LIPPfest), at The Carriageworks theatre, Leeds on 24 September, includes an independent presses book fair that will give people the chance to browse through a range of literature not to be found on the shelves of the average bookshop, as well as readings, workshops, symposiums, and publishing talks. Map Meanwhile in London  there’s a one-day book fai...

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Competitions

Deadline nears for Troubadour prize

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There's still time to enter the competition for the £2,500 Troubadour international poetry prize. Susan Wicks and David Harsent are the judges, with both reading all poems - not always the case with poetry competitions. The deadline is 17 October. 

The prizes are 1st  £2,500, 2nd £500, 3rd £250, & 20 prizes of £20 each a spring 2012 Coffee-House-poetry season ticket and a prizewinners’ Coffee-House poetry reading
with Wicks and Harsent on Monday 28 November for all prize-wnning poets. C...

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Competitions

Support the homeless - with a chance to get your poetry published

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There’s the possibility of having your poetry published in a 20-page pamphlet while supporting the homeless, if you take part  in the International Lumen/Camden Poetry Competition 2012. The contest, organised with Ward Wood Publishing, is aimed at raising funds for the London Homeless Cold Weather Shelters Project. Last year’s competition, which was judged by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, raised over £2,000. The winning poem, An Apple Spouts Philosophy in an Office Car Park, by Caroline Squi...

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News

Poets battle it out at Durham mega slam

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Thirty poets are due to battle it out at a gigantic slam in Durham on Thursday 1 September. The Waddy Mega Slam, presented by Waddington Street Centre in association with Talking Pen, is part of a series of charity events in 2011 hosted by the centre, celebrating 30 years of mental health resource provision in County Durham. The poets will be battling for a £50 cash prize, trophy and title of Waddy Mega Slam Poetry Champion 2011. Admission is free, doors open 6.30pm, and the slam begins at 7p...

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News

The Manchester Writing School at MMU Presents…

The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University has announced a new series of free author events for autumn 2011, presented in partnership with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation <http://www.anthonyburgess.org/> .


The lineup is:

29 September: Rachel Cusk

20 October: Mimi Khalvati and Carola Luther (part of the 2011 Manchester Literature Festival)

27 October: Colin Bateman

10 November: Naomi Alderman

24 November: Laura Wilson

8 December: Alan Hollinghurst

The author...

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Courses

All that jazz - and Julian, too

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There’s a chance to sign up for writing workshops with Write Out Loud’s Julian Jordon on Monday evenings at Marsden library, Huddersfield in early autumn - and then maybe try your hand at Write Out Loud’s own poetry jam at the Marsden jazz festival in October. The jam itself will be at the Railway Inn, Marsden on Sunday 9 October from 11am to 1pm. The jazz festival runs from 7-9 October. Julian's workshops are on 19 and 26 September, and 3 October, from 7.30-9.30 pm. Cost is £2.50 per session...

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Competitions

Hot pot of Lancashire poetry

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The search is on for the north-west’s best food poems for an anthology being published by Lancashire independent publisher Clitheroe Books Press.

The anthology, which is being published under the press’s new Poet’s Dozen imprint, will feature the best 13 poems from North West writers celebrating all things food.

The anthology is being published in association with Ribble Valley council to celebrate Clitheroe’s designation as Lancashire’s official food town and the forthcoming re-launc...

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News

Judithy Palmer reinstated as Director of Poetry Society

17 & 18  August 2011: Statements from the Board of Trustees

Statement 1: We are delighted to be able to report Judith Palmer’s return to the post of Director of the Poetry Society.

Judith Palmer demonstrated enormous strengths in this post and has been a committed and successful Director. Under Judith’s leadership the Poetry Society’s acclaimed artistic and educational programmes were expanded and audience reach extended dramatically. During the two and a half years she led the Societ...

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Poetry translation

New Weekly Poem Podcasts from the Poetry Translation Centre

                                                                          
                                                                                                               




The Poetry Translation Centre has launched a new series of weekly Poem Podcasts on
iTunes. Every Monday listeners will be introduced to a dazzling new poem by some of the world’s
best loved poets. Each poem podcast is read in two languages: in a superb English translation
followed by the poem in its or...

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News

Bolton becomes bi-monthly

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Bolton, birthplace of Write Out Loud, is famed for welcoming new and established poets in a supportive atmosphere. This will continue as the regular event moves to a new venue upstairs from the old one at Butterflies – the Gigs Bar where Jefferama runs the fabulously popular Guitar n Verse! & Friday Nite Live! Events.
 
The night will become bi-monthly with an earlier start time and more features, the next being Sunday 18 September, then Sunday 20 November and so on. The new start will be...

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PBS Benefit Reading

'Poetry Cuts' - November PBS Benefit in Manchester!

Poetry Book Society Benefit Reading
Manchester, 4th November

If you missed the London event, but would like to support the PBS, the next benefit will be in the Cosmo Rodewald Hall in Manchester on Friday November 4th and once again we'll have a brilliant line-up of poets, who are expected to include Simon Armitage, Sean O'Brien, Bill Herbert, Vona Groarke, John McAuliffe, Jake Polley, Paul Farley, David Morley, Jean Sprackland, Julian Turner, Rommi Smith, David Wheatley, Michael Symmons R...

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News

Welsh Poetry Competition anthology launched

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The Welsh Poetry Competition organisers have launched an anthology containing over 100 winning poems  taken from the first five years of the competition.

 

The anthology has poems by some fantastic writers, including Gavin Price, Emily Hinshelwood, John Gallas, Sally Spedding and David Costello. Even amongst our runners up, poets like Eloise Williams, Amanda Weeks, Clare Ferguson-Walker, Eluned Rees, Lynn Roberts, Nigel Ormond, Jane Fox, Kathy Miles and Moira Andrew would easily ...

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Reviews

A window on Italian cultures

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Minority not Minorities: A Window on Italian Cultures vol 1

Poets from Sardinia, Michael Pinna (ed.) Cinnamon Press

Reviewing an anthology differs from looking at a collection by a single author.  In the latter case there is usually some coherence of style, theme, linguistics, place or time in which to find a way in.  But the anthology offers to the reader differing poetic streams of consciousness. 

Anthologies present editors with many questions to be considered.  Where should th...

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Commentary

The beat of our hearts: how to combat poetry phobia

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Ever wondered why you don't get a better audience at your gig? 

Here's the answer.  Poetry phobia.  No, not the name of some trendy new spoken word event apparently, but the term given to a medical condition discussed by Dr DJ Taylor, pictured, in the recent issue of  Myslexia.  This worrying condition - technically referred to as “metrophobia”, is described by Dr Taylor as a “morbid fear of poetry”.  Apparently, the typical sufferer experiences  mild to acute discomfort when confronted w...

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Competitions

The Disappeared: British Red Cross writing competition

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The British Red Cross is organising a creative writing competition on the theme of The Disappeared. The closing date is 30 August. Entries should fit onto one side of A4 paper. Qhat qualifies? Poetry, prose, a comic strip, a short story, an excerpt from your diary, a song. Can be either typed or handwritten. Drawings and illustrations are welcomed, but should accompany the message, rather than be the message. Winner will receive a £50 cash prize and a £50 national book voucher. A compendium o...

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News

Ann Foxglove on the radio

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Write Out Loud poet Ann Foxglove will be reading from some of her work and interviewed later this month on Do The Write Thing, a new live programme on Redruth community radio with Sue Farmer.

Sue Farmer said: “Do The Write Thing is a whole hour dedicated to the spoken word every Friday from 3.30 to 4.30. Whether it is poetry, song, story, novel extracts, plays or film, we aim to enthral the listener and inspire writers out there. Each week I hope to bring you the best original work from l...

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News

Leeds Independent Presses Poetry Festival: tickets on sale

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Tickets are now on sale for the first Leeds Independent Presses Poetry Festival (LIPPfest) due to take place in The Carriageworks theatre, Leeds on 24 September. There will be readings from 25 top-class poets from all over the UK and from a broad range of presses, including Fiona Sampson, Peter Sansom, Amanda Dalton, Kei Miller, Ian Parks, Helen Mort, Clare Shaw, Allison McVety, Pat Borthwick and Mike Barlow. There will also be six workshops, symposiums and publishing talks. An independent pr...

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News

Write Out Loud breaks new records

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Write Out Loud has just notched up its 100th new member this year, marking a record rate of membership growth, and a record number of new recruits for any one month as well, WOL’s membership supremo, Winston Plowes, reports. Our 100th new member this year, Sharon Larkin, comes from Gloucestershire. She said: “WOL was drawn to my attention by a fellow poet, specifically to a blog item related to a poetry group I belong to.  I wanted to reply to the item so that was the immediate prompt for me ...

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News

Watching the river flow: poets wanted for open mic at Wapping

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Calling London poets … The Sense of Place community history project at Hermitage Community Moorings in Wapping is looking for poets to join an open-mic evening on 9 September on the theme of river, boats, and/ or memory. Bruce the Eel Fisherman is the confirmed headliner at the event starting at 7pm at the Hermitage Floating Pier House, 16 Wapping High Street, E1W ING. A Sense of Place is a two-year oral history project about the lives of those who live and work on the Thames at Wapping. Thos...

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News

Breath into words: poetry and yoga

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Yoga teacher Marie-Flore and poets Frances Presley and Sophie Mayer present Breath into Words: an evening of poetry and yoga, at Yoga Junction in Crouch End, north London on Sunday 31 July at 7pm. Breath, balance and bodies in space, which appear in the work of both poets, are intended to resonate with a selection of poses chosen to enhance openness and attention. No previous experience of yoga (or poetry) needed. Wear loose clothing. Venue: Yoga Junction, 93a Weston Park, Crouch End, London ...

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Competitions

Malton festival contest

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Closing date is 24 September for the Malton Literature Festival poetry competition. There are prizes of  £100, £50 and £25 for poems up to 40 lines, with an entry fee  of £4 per poem or 4 poems for £10. Full rules and entry forms can be found at http://www.maltonliteraturefestival.co.uk. Luke Wright is among the poets booked for the weekend of words in the Wolds, which takes place from Friday 21 October to Sunday 23 October 

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News

Engels and today's homeless on Twitter

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Arts organisation arthur+martha have launched an epic Twitter poem in collaboration with homeless people in Manchester and Bury, including lines from the 19th century social campaigner Friedrich Engels. Interviews with many homeless and vulnerably housed people were edited by participants and by various writers to produce a long poem, which appears in tweet form four times a day at http://twitter.com/#!/tweetfromengels

 
The “verses” are snapshots in text of homeless lives, in all their...

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News

Lapwing poets Ian Parks and Andrew Oldham at Word Soup

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Lancashire Writing Hub's Word Soup at the Continental in Preston hosts the Lapwing poetry tour on Thursday night, with Ian Parks and Andrew Oldham. Also on the bill on 28 July are David Cooke, Ron Scowcroft, Rachel McGladdery and Norman Hadley. There will be the usual open mic slot, and more magic before 8pm and in the interval from Magic Mark.

Ian Parks’ collections include Shell Island, The Cage and Love Poems 1979-2009. The Landing Stage, his latest collection, is published by Lapwing,...

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News

The Dead Snail Diaries, live at Scarborough

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For one night only, Valley Press presents a complete reading of Jamie McGarry's third collection of poetry, The Dead Snail Diaries, at Scarborough library, Vernon Road, 6pm, on Thursday 28 July. Already a somewhat unique tale of live from a snail's eye view, the live version adds further layers to the extraordinary story of a man, a shoe and a snail, with topics including the unhealthy relationship between snails and slugs,  snail speed dating, and the mindset needed to become a snail-racing ...

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News

Wanted - renewed enthusiasm and a new openness at the Poetry Society

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The last time poets made the national press was when Ruth Padel and Derek Walcott had a very public spat over the chair of poetry at Oxford. These Morse-ian groves of academe and dreaming spires seem to suit the realms of poetry better than the hard-hitting business arenas of line management and good governance. But the double-edged sword of public funding brings with it a game-raising set of pressures and responsibilities.   

Poetry needs good governance, the same as any other sector.  Y...

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News

This side of the border: spoken word in Wales

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"Spoken word" and "Wales", at the moment, are not synonymous. While a healthy performance poetry scene exists amongst Welsh speaking poets, with regular poetry "stomps" (slams, essentially)  and the annual Eisteddfod gives its highest honours to poets, the English speaking of us are left with only two dedicated events in the whole of the region – the Absurd in Bangor and Word Up! In Cardigan – both difficult to attend unless you are in the area, and with little else left to choose from.

M...

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News

Arts Council suspends Poetry Society funding

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The Arts Council has suspended funding to the Poetry Society, after members passed a vote of no-confidence in the board of the society by 302-69 at an emergency general meeting in London. Meanwhile a petition has been launched to reinstate Judith Palmer as director of the society.  Leading lights who already signed it include Liz Lochhead, makar of Scotland; Gillian Clarke, national poet of Wales; Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate; and Jo Shapcott, former President of the Poetry Society.

A s...

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Competitions

Poetry Review's Fiona Sampson to judge women's contest

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Fiona Sampson, editor of the Poetry Society’s Poetry Review, will be judging the Second Light Network women’s competition for long and short poems, closing date 1 November. Second Light Network is a network of women poets, aged 40 and upwards – although there is no age limit for the competition -  who are published or beginning to get published and who are serious about developing their work. The first prize will be £250 in both categories. Entry fees are £6 per long poem (over 50 lines, and ...

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News

Jailed Bahrain poet is freed

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Ayat al-Gormezi, the 20-year-old Bahrain poet who was jailed for a year for reading out a poem that criticised the country's king at a demonstration, has been freed after an international outcry over her detention. Gormezi, who had served a month of her year's sentence, has apparently been told that her release was conditional on her not taking part in any future protests. In a phone interview with the Independent after her release she said that a female member of the Bahrain royal family had...

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News

Leaving Eden: Ron Zheng's Poetography exhibition

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A Chinese artist who superimposes poems in the traditional tanka form over black and white images is staging an exhibition in Lewisham, south-east London. Ron Zheng’s Poetography exhibition, Leaving My Found Eden, focuses on the  theme of leaving a place you love; it could be a country, family and friends, a home, or even a favourite coffee house.

A tanka poem has five lines, of five, seven, five, seven and seven syllables. The exhibition runs at  Lewisham Arthouse gallery from 20 July to...

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Competitions

Glyn Maxwell to judge Live Canon competition

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Glyn Maxwell is judging this year’s Live Canon international poetry competition. It’s not too late to enter the contest, with a first prize of £1,000. The deadline is 29 July. There's no word limit, or limit to the number of poems you can send. Live Canon will perform all shortlisted poems at the prize ceremony and publish the shortlist in a collection. Entry fee is £4 per poem, or £10 for three poems. You can download an entry form here. Read the competition entry rules here. You can enter b...

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News

Last night at the Belvedere for Liverpool's Liver Bards

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Liverpool open-mic night Liver Bards are hoping for fine weather on Monday 18 July so that poetry performers can strut their stuff in the open air outside the Belvedere pub in Sugnall Street off Falkner Street, near the Philharmonic Hall. But if the weather is cool or rainy then the poets will simply move into their regular meeting room inside the pub. Either way, the poetry will start shortly after 8pm.

However, this will be the last occasion that the Liver Bards meet at the Belvedere. N...

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News

Farrago's School's Out slam

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Farrago’s School’s Out slam on Thursday 21 July at RADA Foyer Bar, in Malet Street, London from 7.30pm to 10.30pm is open to all poets. Those already confirmed include Tottenham’s finest Abraham Gibson, multi-slam champ Peter Hayhoe, Fran Landesman, octogenarian jazz lyricist and poetry genius Sabrina Mahfouz, rising poet and playwright star, Gus Simonovic, visiting New Zealand spoken word artist, and Heather Taylor, Canadian writer and poet. Your MC is John Paul O’Neill. Tickets: £6/£5. Map

...

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News

Manchester's Angela Smith launches debut collection

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Popular Manchester performance poet Angela Smith is launching her debut collection,  This is the Me I Would Be if I Dared, at Manchester City Library at 6.30pm on Wednesday 20 July. It is published by Manchester’s Puppywolf. The free event lasts an hour.  Angela will be joined by Puppywolf author Cathy Bryant, along with Emma Decent and Steph Pike. 

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News

Dave Costello wins Welsh Poetry Competition

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Wirral's Dave Costello has won the prestigious 2011 Welsh Poetry Competition with his poem Horseshoe Bat, a philosophical, symbol-rich reflection on a bat’s flight. Costello, aged 53, of Wallasey, is co-organiser for Liver Bards and for Bards of New Brighton, alongside fellow poet Steve Regan. Costello’s winning poem was selected by a judging team led by Welsh novelist and poet Sally Spedding. 

The poem will appear in the anthology of the last five years’ Welsh poetry competitions due to ...

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News

Heart of the matter: Richard Tyrone Jones at Buxton fringe

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How do you fight back when your heart tries to kill you? In February 2010, healthy, cycling, non-alcoholic poet Richard Tyrone Jones held his own joke funeral to mark his 30th birthday. Shortly after, he was struck down with dilated cardiomyopathy – heart failure. His heart became the weakened, baggy heart of an old man, his lungs bubbling with phlegm and his legs unable to walk more than a few metres. What had caused this triple-decker sandwich of misery? And can being dangerously ill actual...

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Opportunities

Wanted: poetry and fiction editors for online magazine

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Blankpages, Blank Media Collective’s monthly online magazine for emerging artists, is looking for a poetry editor and fiction editor to join a team of Manchester-based volunteers.

The job specification includes sourcing, proof-reading and editing submissions; developing a pool of writers for the magazine and encouraging new contributors; suggesting and/or writing related articles;  attending team meetings (at least two per month); and building and maintaining relationships with creative w...

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Competitions

Bedford open poetry competition

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Poet, tutor, freelance editor and critic Paul Groves will be judging this year’s Bedford Open poetry competition. Deadline for the competition, first prize £300, is 18 November. Entrants can submit an unlimited number of poems, up to 50 lines each,  for a fee of £3 per poem. Winning entries will be published in The Interpreter’s House magazine, which is published three times a year, in February, June and October, and accepts work from new and established writers. More details

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News

Top national poets at Caernarfon festival

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Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke are appearing in Caernarfon this Sunday at Gwyl Arall (Another Festival), from 15-17 July.  The festival offers diverting sessions in historic locations covering poetry, food, music, art exhibitions, walking tours, films and much more. For more details of the lineup visit the Gwyl Arall website. To book tickets click here.

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News

Heights of lyricism 300ft underground

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There’s an amazing chance to hear poetry 300ft underground in a Peak District cavern known as The Devil’s Arse when Mark Gwynne Jones and the Psychicbread perform a Buxton festival fringe show at Castleton on Saturday 16 July. From reflections on a B29 bomber that crashed in the High Peak, to the compelling story of the last gibbet in the Peak District and how it was a poet who ended the grisly practice, this new collection of lyrical works is inspired by some of the region’s most outstanding...

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News

Join fellow poets for a walk in Ted Hughes' stamping ground

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You wandered lonely …? No need to! Sign up to join a company of poets planning a day’s walking and socialising above and around the wonderful Calder Valley town of Hebden Bridge on Sunday 21 August. 

Organiser Dave Bradley says: “This will not be an 'official' Write Out Loud walk – we aren't insured for it. Nor is anyone leading the walks and no one else will be responsible for your safety – that will be up to you – we will simply be accompanying each other.

“The intention is that the...

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News

Uh-Oh! - Apologies

Sorry for the outage and this continuing problem. We are thinking of referring it to the Poetry Complaints Commission, that watchless toothdog being battered by BBC journos at the moment. It is true what they say: SKY's simply the limit.

We are busy establishing whether it is the hacking of hacks, or a surfeit of surfers that caused us to slip from your vision for so long, and continues to redesign the home page. It always, but always, seems to occur when one or both members of our develo...

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News

Sylvia Plath's Three Women performed in London

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Sylvia Plath wrote Three Women for radio, a year before her death. It intimately traces the experience of pregnancy and childbirth and speaks with rare honesty about miscarriage and about giving a child up for adoption.  It was first published in 1962, performed on BBC radio the same year, and later collected in Winter Trees, Plath's final collection. It was performed on Friday night, 8 July, by Holly Atkins, Alice Barclay, and Helena Johnson at London’s Greenwich theatre at 8pm, and is being...

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News

WOL poets at Cloudspotting festival

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Write Out Loud’s Rachel McGladdery and Trevor Meaney will be appearing at Lancashire’s Cloudspotting festival on Saturday night, 9 July, as part of the Lancashire Writing Hub’s lineup of live lit performers, headlined and compered by Mark Mace Smith. The festival is being held at the Aspinall Arms, Mitton Road, Mitton, near Clitheroe on Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 July

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News

The poetry of gardens: Jabberwocky at Hampton Court

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This garden, inspired by Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky, is one of a number of gardens on poetic themes at this year's Hampton Court Flower Show. It won a Silver Gilt Medal for Kids Company and the Design CIC. Other gardens have taken their inspiration from Keats, Kipling, Shelley, Wordsworth and Byron. The show, at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, continues until 10 July. 

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News

Anthony Walker Foundation festival in Liverpool

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Poets including Clare Shaw, pictured, are lined up on Saturday when Writing On The Wall in association with the Anthony Walker Foundation and Love Music Not Racism presents an afternoon of spoken word, poetry and uplifting verse on Saturday 9 July during the foundation's all-day festival at the University of Liverpool. The Anthony Walker Foundation is a charity that was established by Anthony’s family following his tragic death in a racially-motivated attack in July 2005. The aims of the foun...

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Competitions

Muslim Writers awards: closing date 31 July

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Closing date is 31 July for the 2011 Muslim Writers awards, which welcomes submissions of work from Muslim writers aged over 16 across the world. As well as a poetry award, other categories include novel, short story, children’s story, screenplay, blogger, and published novel. Entries don't have to focus on topics of Islam or Muslim identity, although this is equally welcome. All unpublished entries should be submitted electronically through online submissions managers  Submishmash, unless al...

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News

Lunchtime poetry at Manchester City library

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There's a lunchtime poetry event this Thursday, 14 July, 1-2pm, at Manchester City Library as part of Not Part Of - Manchester International Festival’s fringe, with readings from Stephen Parr  and  Steven Waling, two poets linked by Buddhist beliefs. Parr has published many pamphlets of poetry, and had poems included in the Bloodaxe anthology The Long Pale Corridor (1996). In 1999, he published his first full-length collection North of the Future (Windhorse Publications). In 2005, he won firs...

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News

TS Eliot festival at Little Gidding

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Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford will be discussing TS Eliot’s Little Gidding at … where else? … Little Gidding in Cambridgeshire, during the sixth annual TS Eliot festival on Saturday and Sunday, 9-10 July. More details   

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News

Mab and Mao Jones return to childhood library

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Sister and brother poets Mab and Mao Jones were at their local library in Ely, Cardiff, this week giving a reading and presenting an anthology of emerging Welsh writers in which they both appear.

Mab said: “We grew up on the Ely council estate and went to what are sometimes referred to as the 'best' and 'worst' schools in Wales - Glan Ely High School, the local comprehensive, and Howell's School for Girls, a private school that is over 150 years old. Somehow, despite our almost opposite e...

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News

Poetry Society crisis: now the red wheelbarrow

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The latest twist in the Poetry Society saga came when a red wheelbarrow arrived at the society's Betterton Street offices in Covent Garden containing a petition with more than 400 signatures asking for an emergency general meeting to be called. The red wheelbarrow was a reference to lines in the William Carlos Williams poem. "so much depends / upon / a red wheel / barrow / glazed with rain / water / beside the white / chickens". The Poetry Society has already called its own general meeting wh...

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News

The poem that put Bahrain poet Ayat al-Gormezi in jail

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As jailed Bahrain poet Ayat al-Gormezi still waits for her appeal hearing, acclaimed young poet Fatima Al Matar has translated the words that landed her in jail especially for Write Out Loud to highlight her plight, and to keep up the pressure in the campaign to win her release. Gormezi's appeal has now been postponed three times, according to the website Artists Speak Out.  For some, this is raising hopes that she may soon be released. Fatima said: "I was very touched and inspired by Ayat's ...

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Write Out Loud Sale, Tuesday

The Waterside Arts Centre in Sale, near Manchester, will resound with the words of some fabulous poets this Tuesday including, hopefully, YOU! The open mic event encourages all to step up and read, and gain the applause of an appreciative audience.

There will be three amazing guest poets, too: Laura Taylor, Arthur Chappell and Jo Warburton, all of whom will inspire and entertain you with their verbal dexterity; all introduced by Dave Viney.

First-time readers are espe...

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Courses

Like to write poetry at Ted Hughes' house? - last chance for a place

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There are just a handful of places left on this unique Monday to Saturday Arvon Foundation course in the idyllic surroundings of  Lumb Bank, once home to Ted Hughes, and in the village of Heptonstall where Sylvia Plath is buried. Here's a very short film that shows the village,  tells the story and has Sylvia reading her work.

The course is a chance to use the peace and quiet of the place, and the inspiration and coaching offered, to take your writing and your reading further. It will com...

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How To Approach Agents & Publishers – last call for places

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Ever wondered how to get yourself an agent? Or get past the slush pile? Find out how on this special panel-based event for all writers and would-be writers. Literary agents Oli Munson from Blake Freidmann Agency, and John Jarrold (an agent specializing in SF, horror and fantasy fiction, are joined by Sophie Buchan, fiction editor from publishers Weidenfield & Nicolson for this crucial guide to how to approach agents and publishers. John, Oli and Sophie will outline exactly how to present your...

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News

Magma launches no 50 at the Troubadour

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Coffee-House Poetry at the famous Troubadour cellar club in London on Monday 27 June coincides with the launch of the 50th issue of Magma magazine. This special 50th “birthday” event features selected contributors, news of upcoming Magma issues, and special guest poets: John Glenday from Drumnadrochit - Grain (Picador, 2009) was shortlisted for both the Ted Hughes award and Griffin International poetry prize; Anthony Joseph's Bird Head Son is both the title of his latest (Salt) poetry collect...

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News

Write Out Loud at Middleton on Sunday

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The Nearly Dead Poets Society comprising Alvin Sawdust, Des Lexic and Dan Druff are the special guests at this month’s Write Out Loud Middleton open mic event at the Ring o’ Bells, St Leonards Square, Middleton on Sunday 26 June. Time: 8pm. Entry: £2. Everyone welcome to read their poems in a supportive and encouraging environment. Map

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Competitions

Lippfest poetry contest

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Organisers of Lippfest 2011 have launched a poetry competition to tie in with the festival in Leeds in September. Entries close quite soon, on 14 July 2011. Winners will be announced at a special event at the festival on 24 September. All profits made from this competition will go towards supporting independent presses through the annual Lippfest festival and other festivals throughout the country. The judges are Pat Borthwick and Mike Barlow Prizes are £ 250, 1st, £ 150, 2nd, £100 3rd, plus ...

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News

Glastonbury's poet in residence at Ledbury

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Glastonbury festival’s official poet in residence Longfella - aka Tony Walsh -  will also be appearing at Ledbury poetry festival, which this year runs from July 1 to 10, features almost 100 events including poetry readings and performances, exhibitions, walks and workshops.

A gala poetry performance and supper at Hellens features modern Tunisian poetry reflecting the country’s extraordinary culture and changing politics, while Zimbabwean New Generation Poets focus on “unasked questions, ...

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News

Fine words at festivals

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As you can imagine, there is plenty of poetic action at festivals around the country this weekend. To name but two ... at the Cadence festival at Tyldesley, Manchester, Words in Motion presented by Write Out Loud. Jefferama is leading the charge, backed up by, among others, Petrova Fairhurst, John Darwin, John Darwin, Laura Taylor, Gordon Zola, Antionionioni, Elaine Booth, The Nearly Dead Poets Society, Paul Blackburn, Andy N, Joy France, Michael Wilson, and Winston Plowes. It's on Saturday f...

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News

Write Out Loud Bolton on Sunday

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Write Out Loud Bolton - where it all started - is happening again this Sunday at 8pm at Gigs/Butterflies bar at 56/58 Bridge Street, Bolton. Your compere for the open mic event where beginners are always most welcome : Jeff Dawson. Entry: £1 donation. Map

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News

Bury launches cultural salon at library

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Bury Literature Lounge and Cultural Salon will be launched on Monday 20 June at Bury library at 7.30 pm by star local writer Emma Jane Unsworth. The salon is intended to be a  lively monthly event for creative people in Bury to come together, featuring established writers and new talent, local people, visiting authors and performers. Emma will be reading from her new book, Hungry, the Stars and Everything, at the launch. Tickets are £2, include a glass of wine and refreshments and can be obta...

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News

Tony Walsh spreads the Write Out Loud word on airwaves

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One of the initial members of  Write Out Loud with a hugely-growing reputation gave our website an enormous plug this week in an interview with Radio Manchester.

Poet and writer Tony Walsh – Longfella – was being interviewed about his upcoming role as website Poet-in-Residence at the Glastonbury festival. Tony, who will be launching his debut poetry collection and CD Tall Stories and the Truth at Glastonbury, and as co-headliner at the opening night of the Ledbury poetry festival a week l...

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Courses

Meet top tutors at Faber's autumn courses open day

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There will be a chance to meet tutors like Jo Shapcott, Tim Lott, Esther Freud, Marcel Theroux, and Daljit Nagra when Faber Academy launch their autumn courses at an open day at the Faber offices in London on 2 July from 10am – 2pm. Courses on offer include Becoming A Poet, Writing Short Stories, and Writing A Novel. More details and map. To book contact Fiona at academy@faber.co.uk or ring 0207 927 3868.

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News

Poets and illustrators get together at Kings Place

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Poets and illustrators Simon Armitage, Chris Riddell, Colette Bryce, Nick Hayes, Heather Phillipson and Philippa Johnson will appear at 7pm on Monday 20 June at Kings Place, York Way, London, in an event exploring the relationship between the two arts.

Simon Armitage is author of 10 collections of poetry and winner of numerous awards. He was awarded a CBE in 2010. Colette Bryce has published three collections with Picador, The Heel of Bernadette (2000), The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004) a...

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News

A different turning: Molly Naylor's touring show

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Writer and performer Molly Naylor takes her touring show, Whenever I get blown up I think of you, to the Queens’ theatre, Barnstaple, on Tuesday 14 June. Britain is booming and Molly moves to London from deepest Cornwall full of naive dreams, high hopes and on a quest to make her life just like the movies. Then on 7/7/2005, she finds herself on an underground train blown up by terrorists and her life is forced to take a different direction. Funny, frank and poetic; this is the true story of w...

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News

Write Out Loud at Stockport

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Write Out Loud Stockport holds one of its regular monthly open mic nights on Monday 13 June at Stockport Art Gallery. The event, an eclectic mix of poetic styles and approaches, begins at 7pm, with beginners especially welcome. Entry: a mere £1 donation. Map  


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News

Street readings: WOL poets performing at big book market

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Write Out Loud poets including John Darwin,  Steve Garside, Gordon Zola, Anna Percy and Dermot Glennon are among many talented performance poets and authors giving live readings on Friday 17 June and Saturday 18 June at the Manchester Independent Book Market, St Ann’s Square, 10am-5.30pm, both days. This year's market will feature over 30 publishers including Peepal Tree, Route, Comma, Crocus/Commonword, Dreamcatcher, Flapjack, Nightjar, Satchel/Suitcase, Thanatos Books, Hidden Gem, and many ...

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News

Michael Horovitz at Jazz Verse Jukebox

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Michael Horovitz, the 76-year-old beat, jazz, blues and protest poet, and singer-songwriter who has edited New Departures for 50 years, and co-ordinated many Live New Departures, Jazz Poetry SuperJams and Poetry Olympics festivals, is appearing on Sunday 12 June at Jazz Verse Jukebox at Upstairs @ Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, 47 Frith Street, London. Entry: £7.

Also appearing are Ernesto Sarezale, pen name of a Basque cognitive scientist, poet, performer, stand-up and cabaret act, and video ...

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News

McMillans together at live broadcast festival

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Father and son poets Ian and Andrew McMillan will be swapping poetry and wisdom on the theme of families when they open a seven-day live broadcast festival or words and music in East Leeds.

Live from 13-19 June on www.elfm.co.uk, Live@Chapel is an entirely live broadcast literature and music festival, broadcast through local community radio station ELFM.

Following his claim on Desert Island Discs that he has never worked with his son, ELFM challenged Ian McMillan to devise a piece wit...

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News

Aoife Mannix hosts arts festival open mic

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Irish writer and poet Aoife Mannix, currently poet in residence on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, the BBC World Service’s World Today and for the Royal Shakespeare Company,  hosts a Poets in the Pub open mic night at North Nineteen during the Holloway arts festival in north London on Monday 13 June.

Aoife Mannix is the author of four collections of poetry: The Trick of Foreign Words (2002); The Elephant in the Corner (2005); Growing Up An Alien (2007); and Turn The Clocks Upside Down (2008)...

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News

Cream of the crop at Dylan Thomas Centre

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Parthian introduces Ten of the Best, a selection of poetry showcasing Wales' literary talent, at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, on Thursday 9 June. Included are hard-hitting poems by S.T. Owen, edgy, funny poems by Mab Jones, poems inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall and Tony Goble by Alan Kellermann, poems exorcising the inner demons of M.A. Oliver, and thoughtful poems, beautifully crafted, by Anna Lewis.

Free entry and wine. Time: 7 pm. More details and map

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News

Spoken-word snapshots

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Naomi Woddis– poet, photographer, and now photographer of poets – launches her latest exhibition at the Albany in Deptford, south-east London this Friday, 10 June. It features portraits of 30 key players from today’s spoken-word world  – and some of them will be appearing on stage at the same venue. Poetry Snapshots, presented by Apples and Snakes, and the Albany, will feature performances from Sabrina Mahfouz, A F Harrold, Dzifa Benson, Joe Duggan, Jasmine Cooray, Joelle Taylor, Kayo Chingon...

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News

Crompton the compere at Wigan's Write Out Loud

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Pete Crompton is the compere and Susie Mason is guest poet at Write Out Loud Wigan at the Tudor on Thursday night, 9 June. The Wigan WOL open mic event has been likened  to “a bit of a bearpit” by some and described by others as “the best performance poetry event in the north-west” with “a special mix of  the absurd, comic, poignant”.  The fun begins at 8.30 pm at the Tudor House Hotel, in New Market Street. Map

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News

Petition launched for jailed Bahrain poet

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Writers are being urged to sign a petition in support of Ayat al-Gormezi, a 20-year-old poet and student who has been jailed for a year after being arrested for reading out a poem at a pro-democracy rally in Bahrain two months ago http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/freeayat/

Dont worry about variations in spelling her name - if you feel strongly about her case, just sign the petition, please. According to a report in the Independent during her detention Gormezi was whipped across the face...

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News

Andrew McMillan with the Puzzle Poets

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The Puzzle Poets welcome Andrew McMillan to the Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge, on Monday night 6 June. Andrew McMillan’s first pamphlet, every salt advance, was published by Red Squirrel Press in 2009.  A second pamphlet from Red Squirrel Press is due in October 2011. The Barnsley-raised poet is featured in the upcoming Salt Anthology of Younger Poets.
Also on the bill is an open mic session. Entry: donation to the hat. The Puzzle Hall Inn has a long tradition of hosting a range of cultur...

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News

More cuts news: Channel 4 at Camden?

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With poetry cuts very much in the news - see our lead story - Channel 4 are suspected to be checking up on Camden poets tonight to test the temperature for a story about the cuts. It promises to be a stimulating evening regardless of journalistic interest, with readings from poets Bernadette Cremin, Maria Jastrzebka, pictured, and David Swann.  Poets from the floor are also very welcome. Please bring a copy of the your poem if you wish to be considered for the new anthology which will be edit...

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News

Parks and Oldham kickstart run-up to Leeds Lippfest

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Ian Parks and Andrew Oldham are reading at 7.30pm on Monday 6 June at  The Carriageworks, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, in one of a series of events in the run-up to Leeds Lippfest. Entry: £4/£3. Ian Parks was one of the Poetry Society New Poets in 1996. His collections include Shell Island, Love Poems : 1970-2009, and The Landing Stage. He has taught creative writing at the universities of Sheffield, Hull, Oxford and Leeds. A new collection, The Exile's House, is due from Waterloo Press in 201...

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News

David Cooke launches In The Distance

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Write Out Loud regular David Cooke is launching his first collection, In the Distance, in more than 20 years on Friday 17 June at the open mic Poets Cafe, Reading. In The Distance is available from Night Publishing  on Amazon. A further collection, Work Horses, will be coming out next year from Ward Wood Publishing.  The Reading event, at South Street arts centre, is at 8pm for 8.30 start. Entry is £6 / £4 concs and poets. 

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News

Milton Keynes poet laureate joins Write Out Loud debate

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The newly-appointed poet laureate of Milton Keynes, Mark Niel, has joined in the lively debate initiated on Write Out Loud about his new role. WOL veteran Graham Sherwood, himself from Milton Keynes, kicked it off on a WOL discussion thread, wondering if it was better to be a performance poet rather than a non-performing poet to gain such a post, and about the whole idea of appointing poet laureates for specific areas. 

Mark replied: “I believe that a non–performer can be a poet laureate ...

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Review

Was Wizard worth watching? - a review

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What happens when a popular performance poet works up a wizard idea? Magic materialises! Or does it?

Dominic Berry, that ubiquitous, powerful presence on the Manchester spoken-word scene, last week presented his drama, Wizard, to an invited audience at Manchester’s Contact Theatre. To have a ‘sell-out’ for a preview is a measure of Dominic’s popularity; but popularity is the not the same as critical success. Did Dominic avoid the fate of so many pseudo-poetic pieces turned into drama: bec...

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Poem of the month

Smoking Outside

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This month's poem was chosen by Lynda Morgan. She chose it because, as she says " ... it evokes that lovely private time experienced when feeling in flow with your surroundings.  Good for the soul."

Find out more about Carol and her work: http://www.writeoutloud.net/poets/carolfalaki

Smoking Outside

The warm air lies flat on the dusk
as the sun pulls the last coral plume,
to a secret place
beyond the screen of impending darkness.

A startled blackbird screeches for safety,
...

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News

Poets of the world unite

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Poets from the 205 Olympic nations are to take part in the UK's biggest poetry festival next year. Led by the Southbank Centre's artist in residence, Simon Armitage, and artistic director Jude Kelly, Poetry Parnassus, part of next year's Cultural Olympiad, will see one poet from each of the 205 Olympic nations taking part in readings, workshops and a gala event, touring the UK and contributing a poem in their own language for a poetry collection, The World Record, which will champion poetry i...

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News

Queen of dub hits Soho

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Apples & Snakes at the Soho theatre on Tuesday 31 May presents Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, charismatic queen of dub poetry. Sharing the bill is Yorkshire’s Steve Tasane, no stranger to the odd rebel song himself. And watch out for Fatima Al Matar, the Coventry-Kuwaiti phenomenon creating serious waves on the spoken-word scene. Venue: Soho theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE. 

Tickets: £8 / £6 / £6 under 26. Booking: 020 7478 0100 / www.sohotheatre.com

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News

Kat Francois interview

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One of the UK's most talented spoken word performers, winner of the first televised slam, Kat Francois, has been a Write Out Loud poet (i.e. had a profile on the site) since April. In a recent interview for online magazine Raw Roots she shares some of the secrets of her outstanding success in poetry slams and as a comedy performer.

All you gig organisers out there, get her booked soon! Especially you northern ones.

Have a look at Kat’s profile to see her amazing CV.

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News

Canada's McCaffery and MacCormack in Leeds and Manchester

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Experimental Canadian poets Steve McCaffery and Karen MacCormack are appearing in an Other Room event at 6pm at the Tiled Hall, Leeds Art Gallery on Tuesday 7 June. The following night, Wednesday 8 June, both poets appear at the Old Abbey Inn, Manchester.  This one's at 7 pm. Both events are free, but tickets should be booked in advance.

Steve McCaffery,  holder of the David Gray chair of poetry and letters at the State University of New York at Buffalo, was born in Sheffield in 1947 and ...

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News

Belfast launch for winning pamphlets

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The launch of new pamphlets by Matt Kirkham and Howard Wright in Belfast tonight, Thursday 26 May,  is being hosted by No Alibis bookshop, in association with Iota magazine and Templar Poetry.

Both poets were winners in the 2010 Iota Shots pamphlet competition, along with David Gilbert. Matt Kirkham lives on the Ards peninsula, where he works as a teacher. The Lost Museums (Lagan Press, 2006), won the Rupert and Eithne Strong award for best first collection. Matt's winning pamphlet is ent...

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News

Cley's poetry festival

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The Cley Little Poetry Festival  is taking place this Saturday, 28 May, from 10am - 9pm, at Salthouse Church and the British Columbia Hall, in Cross Street, Salthouse, Norfolk. Map All-day events including the Poetry Tree and Poetry Bookshop, events with Michael Mackmin, pictured, poet and editor of Rialto, plus Hannah Lowe and Jack Underwood. There is also Strictly Spoken, a chance to perform a given poem and get feedback on your performance from a panel of judges, workshops, walks and more....

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News

Poetry spending cuts: tonight's benefit reading for the PBS

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A host of top poets are turning out tonight for a benefit night organised by the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, in support of the Poetry Book Society on Friday 3 June. The PBS provides information, guidance and discounts on the best contemporary poetry, and is the biggest dedicated poetry bookseller in the UK. It recently heard that its funding is to be withdrawn entirely by Arts Council England.

Duffy said: "At the time of the ACE cuts to the PBS and to several much-loved festivals and ...

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Competitions

Liz Lochhead to judge Elmet poetry prize

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Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s makar – or national poet - is to judge this year’s Elmet poetry prize. The theme is Connections, the deadline 15 July, and prizes are: 1st  £300, 2nd £100, runners up £50, plus the Huddersfield University Yorkshire prize of £100. The competition is staged by the Elmet Trust, a charitable company whose purpose is to promote and celebrate the life and works of Ted Hughes, Mytholmroyd’s famous son and late poet laureate, with exhibitions, festivals and walks in Mytholmro...

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News

Write Out Loud at the Waterside

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Write Out Loud at the Waterside arts centre, Sale town centre, tonight, 24 April, at 7.30 pm presents three top guests plus open mic. First time readers are especially welcome. Open mic spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. If you want a space, get there early as spaces go quickly. The guests are: Sophie Hall, a finalist in the Manchester Literature Festival's poetry slam. Sophie has performed in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bolton and Hebden Bridge. http://www.writeoutloud....

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News

The hitch-hiker's guide to poetry

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Is hitch-hiking dead? Is poetry dead? Performance poet Catherine Brogan is trying to find out. She’s hitching to four performances in four days, taking with her two hitch-hiking novices, a film crew who’ll be pod- and video-casting her exploits online, along with interviews with and performances from the writers she meets along the way.

Mon 23 May
RAW @ Contact Theatre, Manchester - free open mic for poets and MCs, a fusion of hip hop, spoken word and poetry.
http://www.facebook.com/even...

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News

Wigan's Stanza group seeks new talent

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Wigan’s Stanza poetry group is looking to recruit new members. Wigan’s agenda includes sharing information on competitions, events, open mics, and workshops. In addition every month a member will volunteer to bring along a poem or piece of writing to share and for the group to discuss. There are also writing exercises as well as the chance for members to bring along their own poems to share and get feedback. Stanza groups are run under the aegis of the Poetry Society. Wigan Stanza meetings ta...

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Review

THE DRIER THE BRIGHTER - reviewed by Cynthia Buell Thomas

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In ‘The Drier The Brighter’, Judy Kendall acknowledges foremost her thanks to the teachings of Buddha. We reasonably expect, then, that some of her writing will be in the metaphysical vein, symbolism seeking substance. Her introspective verse is the journey of self- knowledge, reaching a hard-won understanding that things are what they are, whether it be a lost love or old age.  Supporting the book’s title, many poems feature ‘rain’. Whether as reality or metaphor, interpretation lies with th...

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News

Chanje Kunda at Chorlton arts festival

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Chanje Kunda will be reciting Afro-centric poems from her forthcoming collection Amsterdam at the Iguana Bar, Chorlton on Saturday night, 21 May. Appearing with her at this Chorlton arts festival event will be special guests including Usra Warsma, Akiel Chinelo, Shirley May, Segun Lee French, and Chris Jam. There’s also a jam session and open mic. From 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm.  More details and map.

Another Chorlton arts festival event billed for the same night is a Stirred open mic from 7.30...

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News

Poetry in the park at Wolverhampton

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Poetry in the Park is an invitation to Wolverhampton residents and beyond to come along and meet local poets on Tuesday 24 May from  7-9pm at Bantock House museum and park. Appearing are Tony Stringfellow and Jane James, with special guest, Jamaican poet Yasus Afari. Contact Liz at Finchfield Community Association on 01902 429184 or 07711 569 489 if you are a local poet and want to take part. This is a free event – families are welcome and tickets are available for priority for seats in the T...

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News

Write Out Loud at Middleton on Sunday

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Julia McClay is the guest poet at Write Out Loud Middleton's open mic night on Sunday 22 May at the Ring O'Bells. Comedy double act Des Lexic and Alvin Sawdust will be premièring as comperes, there will be 
free cakes from Gemma, wine and beer raffle, lots of fantastic poetry and all for the bargain price of £2.

More details and map 

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News

Coventry evacuees invited to Antony Owen's launch

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Evacuee veterans of Coventry’s wartime Blitz have been invited to Write Out Loud poet Antony Owen’s launch of his new collection, The Dreaded Boy, on Wednesday 15 June. The Dreaded Boy is a suite of poems documenting the violence and loss inflicted by modern warfare, and was partly inspired by a Remembrance event which Owen organised in November 2009 for a charity helping injured paratroopers.

Publishers Pighog Press will be donating £1 from each pamphlet sold to the Karen Woo Foundation,...

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News

Lancaster Spotlight's Friday line-up

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The line-up for Lancaster Spotlight on Friday 20 May at The Storey auditorium, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, includes poets Ann Wilson, who hosts the Spoken Word open mic at the Brewery arts centre in Kendal; Jim Turner, whose poems appeared in An Elastic Sky, published by Flax; and Mike de Tore, recently retired after teaching at a local high school,  who took up poetry three years ago. Compered by Simon Baker, doors open at 8, with open mic from 8.30 to 9.  Entry £4 (£2 concessions). 

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News

Jawdance at Rich Mix

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Jawdance at Rich Mix arts centre, London’s Bethnal Green Road - not far from LIverpool Street station - on Wednesday 18 May includes guests Jill Abram, Jake Royston, and the five winners of the Jawdance audio poetry competition, fusing words and verse with the photography of Alexander Brattell. Host is Raymond Antrobus. There’s always room for more poets, so why not nab one of the open-mic slots and show everyone what you’ve got. And if you’ve made a poetry-film that you’d like them to screen...

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News

Rhymes in Birmingham

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Join a gamut of guest stars at the Station pub in Kings Heath, Birmingham on Wednesday 18 May, for the Rhymes Milton Keynes Take-over. They include the Rhymes 2010 Slam winner Mark Niel, who is the host of Tongue in Chic poetry and Spoken Word events in Milton Keynes, half-pint sized poet and mischief maker Danni Antagonist, pictured, Fay Roberts, who co-manages Poetry Kapow! with Danni and performs in Milton Keynes poetry collective Bardcore, and Donna Scott, an energetic comedian, short fic...

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News

Postcards of outsiders' lives: poets work with homeless

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Homeless people in Manchester have created "customised" tourist postcards of the city, in collaboration with arts organisation arthur+martha, and aided by poets from North America. The postcards are currently exhibited in Bury Transport Museum as part of Bury Text. "A map of you" postcards carry tiny stories, little snatches of homeless people's lives. In the white space between the buildings are the stories some stencilled, some handwritten, some self-explanatory, funny, dour, elusive. The a...

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News

Borderlands: poetry from the edges of Europe

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Words On Monday at London’s Kings Place, this Monday 16 May features Borderlands, an evening of poetry from the edges of Europe, exploring the idea of geographical and cultural borders, what they mean to the human psyche and the creative work of poets from the “borderlands”. The evening features Lithuanian poet Marcelijus Martinaitis, joined by Robert Bebek (Croatia), Marzanna Kielar (Poland) and Daniel Jonas (Portugal). It starts at 7 pm, tickets £9.50. Kings Place on York Way is a few minut...

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News

Poetry Society lecture: On Being Old

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The American poet and Pulitzer prizewinner CK Williams is to deliver the Poetry Society Annual Lecture: On Being Old on 26 May, from 7pm – 10 pm.  His lecture at Beveridge Hall, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1 7HU will be interspersed with new poems exploring his changing relationship with the great poets of history, from Wyatt, Wordsworth and Pushkin to Bishop, Auden and Lowell.

For the first time, the event will also be presented in two other UK cities, in partners...

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News

South magazine launches latest issue in Salisbury

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South, the poetry magazine from the southern counties, launches its 43rd issue on Thursday 19 May with readings from featured poets at the White Room Studio, Salisbury Arts Centre, St Edmunds Church, Bedwin Street, Salisbury. South’s submissions policy means that poems are chosen by a selection panel, which changes for each issue. The poets' names are withheld from the panel, to give all poets a fair chance of being published. Around 60 poems are chosen for each issue. More details and map

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News

Fran Lock's debut collection

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Fran Lock is launching her debut collection of poetry, Flatrock, at the Calder Bookshop at 51 The Cut, opposite the Young Vic theatre in London and near Waterloo station, on Wednesday 25 May, from 7pm to 10pm. She will be performing from her collection, supported by poets Ceri May and Colleen Allen. Plus wine and music.  Map 

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News

Richard Fammeree

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The American poet, composer, performing and recording artist Richard Fammeree  - a member of Write Out Loud  – has died after succumbing to ALS, a form of motor neurone disease. Fammeree was founder and director of UniVerse of Poetry, described as a "United Nations of poetry"; he married poetry with music and new media, scoring poems into alternative/contemporary art songs. He is featured on ReVerse, a recorded antholigy of poetry and poetry and music,  with Mark Strang, Lawrence Ferlinghetti...

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News

Wigan's Write Out Loud tonight at the Tudor

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Write Out Loud’s open mic is back at the Tudor in Wigan tonight, 12 May. Billed as night of poems, performance and drink, though not necessarily in that order, Wigan has been described by some as the Man Utd of WOL. We couldn’t possibly comment. As one punter said: “The regulars and the irregulars weave indistinguishably between the bar, the loos, the stage and the garden. Hoorah!” Kick-off 8.30 pm at the Tudor House hotel in New Market Street.

More details and map
 

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News

John Hegley at Express Excess birthday special

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John Hegley, Chris Redmond, and Indigo Williams feature at the 15th birthday special of Express Excess on Wednesday 18 May at The Enterprise, 2 Haverstock Hill (opposite Chalk Farm tube station), in Camden. Host is Paul Lyalls, who’s done it a couple of time before.   All tickets are £5 (still at 2004 prices). Doors open 8.30pm, and the show begins at 9pm. 

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News

Your big chance to publish a poetry collection

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Want to see a collection of your poetry published? Why not enter the latest Cinnamon Press competition: the closing date is 30 June. 

The winning author has their poetry collection published with Cinnamon Press and receives a prize of £100. Cinnamon also publish an anthology of the best poems submitted and entry includes a copy of the winners' anthology. Several other collections have been commissioned by Cinnamon as a result of being shortlisted. There are also short-story and novella/no...

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Competitions

George Szirtes to judge Essex poetry contest

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George Szirtes will be judging this year’s Essex poetry festival’s open poetry competition. The closing date is 30 July, with prizes - first prize £500 - handed out at the poetry festival in October, and winners and runners-up invited to read their poems. Prize-winning poems will also be published on the festival website. The entry fee is £3 per poem or £10 for 4 poems.  

More details

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News

John Siddique launches Full Blood

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Best-selling poet John Siddique is launching his latest book, Full Blood, at Manchester City Library tonight, 5 May, from 6-8 pm.

John read from Full Blood, which is already shifting like hot cakes, at the recent Write Out Loud Big Weekend. Thursday’s launch will include readings from the book, accompanied by Katie Chatburn on cello, conversation with Dr Claire Chambers, senior lecturer in postcolonial literature, plus audience Q and A and book signing.

Warning: Full Blood includes “s...

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News

John Darwin at Guitar 'n Verse

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Write Out Loud favourite John Darwin will be appearing as well as singer-songwriter Linda Jennings at Guitar n Verse at Butterflies Bar, Bridge Street, Bolton, tonight, 5 May, 7pm - 10.30pm. It's the regular open mic event with Jeffarama, in which poetry, music (any instrument, accordian to zither), comedy (inoffensive please) and acting are all welcome. Anyone who would like an open mic spot should contact Jeff Dawson on 07984197175.

More details and map

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News

Wanted: poets for Bury market gig

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Write Out Loud is looking for poets to perform a short set on Saturday 14 May between 11:30 and 1:30 at Bury's world-famous market. The event will be publicised beforehand and the local press with be there on the day. If you have any poems about Bury, they would be especially welcome. If this gig goes well it could lead to future gigs. Please contact Gemma Lees at: deedlenup@hotmail.co.uk.

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News

Poetry beside the sea at Brid this weekend

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A glorious weekend of poetry for readers and writers of all ages in beautiful surroundings, with dramatic sea views – that’s the promise from Bridlington poetry festival, being staged at Sewerby Hall this weekend. Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy headlines, performing her long children’s poem, The Princess’ Blanket, on Saturday lunchtime, and will be reading from some of her latest work and from many of her best-selling collections, including Rapture and The World’s Wife on Saturday evening.

...

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Poem of the month

Dad's Ladders

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Val Cook chose this months poem. She says of it, "Linda's poem reminded me of my dad's ladder. I don't have his ladder but I remember it clearly being full of paint splashes like the ladder in the poem. I like Linda's poem because it is evocative without being over sentimental."

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

 

Dad's Ladders

I have dad's ladders now.
Though they are not used much
they are indispensable.
Any time I ...

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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. Admisson £3...

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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 Cooke, Keith Arms...

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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 Norwich A...

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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 and the US. ...

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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 Sco...

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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” and ge...

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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 Words To...

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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 due ...

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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 dissolution - with Art, not...

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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 in the bath.

...

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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 risk. Ven...

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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 painter Fri...

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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, kn...

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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 Isl...

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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 publ...

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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 the arts cuts, i...

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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 the ...

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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 Fukushima...

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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 slam even...

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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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News

Small oases of peace & magic in otherwise mad days

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That's how Manchester Library’s lunchtime poetry sessions, curated by that wonderful literary impresario, Libby Tempest, have been described.

Mad days indeed, with their colleagues in other authorities closing libraries (is that not more violent than smashing a window?) what a thrill, how reassuring, to see Manchester running lunchtime poetry gigs. (That’s 'dinner time' to us northerners.)

Libby's latest oasis is on 8th april, 13.00 – 14.00, when you can witness the melifluity of DONN...

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News

Stairwell Books link up with Dream Catcher magazine

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York-based Stairwell Books is to publish Dream Catcher magazine. Dream Catcher, founded in 1996, has had a reputation for the excellence and eclectic nature of its writing. The periodical has had a significant international appeal and recent special editions have focussed on Canadian, and Bosnian and Croatian writing.

Paul Sutherland, the founder of Dream Catcher, said: “This arrangement allows me to concentrate on finding new distinctive writing and art work.” Rose Drew, founder of Stair...

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News

I knew Siegfried Sassoon: memories of a fox-hunting man

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Siegfried Sassoon was one of the great first world war poets. He won the Military Cross, then became a conscientious objector, and met Wilfred Owen when he was sent to Craiglockhart hospital in Scotland by the powers-that-be to get him out of the news. He was also an excellent cricketer and played for his county,  Kent. This month’s talk on Friday April 8 at Lancashire and Cheshire Branch of the Western Front Association is by Denis Silk, a past-president of the MCC who met Sassoon and became...

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News

Website went AWOL: world wonders why

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Write Out Loud went quiet yesterday,

your wordless screens all blank.

We don’t yet know what happened,

who to blame (or who to thank?).

 

Sure it’s not political,

Pentagon, say, or Kremlin,

we don’t think it’s connected

to recent niggling gremlins.

 

Though the tireless tech team

is at work behind the scenes,

creating innovations

of which, we’re sure, you dream,

they haven’t touched the software

at all during the day,

so they hav...

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News

Poetry and music at festival in Co Galway

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There’s a fine and eclectic lineup of writers and music at the Fourth Forge at Gort Literature Festival this Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 March, at Gort, Co Galway, organised by the Western Writers' Centre, Ionad Scribhneoiri Chaitlín Maude,Galway.

 Among the festival participants are The Poetry Chicks, journalist Olaf Tyaransen, poets Noel Monahan, Matt Mooney, Patrick Stack, The Clare Three-legged Stool Writers' Group, poet and musician Clare Sawtell, poet and political activist Sarah...

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News

Earlier start for Write Out Loud Middleton

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Write Out Loud Middleton will be at the earlier time of 5-7pm this Sunday, 27th March because of a music act taking place afterwards at the Ring O' Bells.

This month's guest, Rod Whitworth, a well-loved regular of the Middleton night only took up poetry in 2007. He describes himself as "passionate about the obvious things" including his wife (aw) and writing.  Norman Warwick from Just Poets is this month's guest compere.

The Middelton night is well known to be relaxed and welcoming. Poets...

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News

Innverse: it's back tonight

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Innverse, a poetry readaround - no sign-up, no mic, no pressure – has returned to Sanbar in Grosvenor Street, Manchester.  Started three years ago by Simon Rennie who wanted a space for everyone to share and discuss poetry, Innverse has been taking a sabbatical. Simon has passed the torch on to Anna Percy and Dermot Glennon.

Innverse returns as a monthly event on the last Monday of the month. Come along and read your own work or another poet's - or just to listen.

Date: Tonight, Monda...

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News

A well-named writers' group

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Here's a great name for a writers' group, COZI Writers. It sounds all pipe and slippers by the fireside, all friendly-like. So it ought to be, being run by ex-Write Out Loud coordinator for Sale, Steve O'Connor who, we have it on very good authority, is an inspiring tutor. It's so friendly you can drop in and dip out if you can't attend weekly, and although there's a kitty for people who can contribute a few bob, you don't have to if you're skint.

Steve tells us newcomers are always welco...

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News

Tenby Arts Festival writing competition

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The 2011 Tenby Arts Festival Writing Competition is now open. Closing date for entries is 15 July,  2011. There are two categories  -  short story and poetry - and prizes are the same for each category: first prize 150, second prize £70, third prize £50.   There are also prizes of £25 for the best story and the best poem entered by writers resident in West Wales.

Short stories should not exceed  1,500 words. Poems should be a maximum length of 40 lines.   Entry fees are  £4 for each short...

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News

Anne Stevenson and Penelope Shuttle at Camden

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Anne Stevenson and Penelope Shuttle are performing at the latest Camden monthly poetry evening, presented by Ruth O’Callaghan, to raise money for the homeless.

Poets from the floor are very welcome, with some longer spots available. Please bring a copy of your poem if you wish to be considered for the new anthology, which will be edited by Ruth O'Callaghan.

Date: Friday 1 April. Venue: Trinity United Reformed Church, 1 Buck St, Camden Town (1-2 mins, Camden       Town tube). Time: 7pm...

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News

Spooked in Worcester: calling all gothic, horror, sci-fi and fantasy fans

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Calling all writers, poets, musicians, performance artists, actors and comedians - ‘42’ is Worcester’s gothic, horror, sci-fi and fantasy open mic night on Friday 25 March for all those who love the genres and everything in between. Why 42? It takes its title from Douglas Adams’ great answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

Anyone interested in performing should email the organisers at 42@gapresents.co.uk
Each performer will be allotted 15 minutes for their set.

Date: 25 March....

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News

Write Out Loud at Sale on World Poetry Day

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On a Monday for one month only!
Write Out Loud presents...
...A great event at the Waterside with an open mic and three superb guests.
First time readers are especially welcome. Open mic spaces available on a first come, first served basis. If you want a space, get there early as spaces go quickly!
Our fabulous guests this month are:
Joshua Mackle
A popular turn at open mic nights around Manchester, Josh is an emerging talent and this will be his first ever guest slot. History in the...

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News

Spring is in the air, and slams are gambolling everywhere!

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Slam poets have an embarrassment of events to choose from over the next month with 12 listed on the gig guide (see list, below)

Not everyone’s cup of tea, slams can be divisive or great fun, depending on your point of view. Having made a bob or two from them I support slams for seasoned, thick-skinned tired old poets like me, but not for tyros. They are good for giving folks something to aim for as well as introducing poetry as entertainment to new people, those who might not otherwise go...

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News

Luke Wright and Elvis McGonagall at Word of Mouth, Bristol

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March’s Word of Mouth sees two of Britain’s most exciting poets take over the Bristol Old Vic’s Basement for a night of razor-sharp spoken word, and it's all hosted by Byron Vincent

Cynical Ballads by Luke Wright  - “Seven caustic tales from Broken Britain”, plus Elvis McGonagall (see his Write Out Loud profile).
Word of Mouth, Bristol Old Vic Basement, Thursday 17 March, 8 pm £8 & £6
Box Office : 0117 987 7877

More info including map of the venue in the gig guide.

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News

Spoken Word All Stars at Cardiff Pierhead tonight

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Tonight, 31 March, Cardiff’s Pierhead hosts its first arts event when Spoken Word All Stars, make their first foray into Wales.
With five poets and one musician, the free show includes international award winners and acclaimed performers Kat Francois, OneNess, El Crisis and Chris Redmond, as well as local poet and head of Academi, Peter Finch - whose poetic words can be seen set in concrete outside the new Central Library.
Accompanied by the globally renowned sax player Jason Yarde, this ...

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News

£10,000 Manchester Fiction Prize, 2011

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Under the direction of Carol Ann Duffy, MMU’s Writing School launches its second Manchester Fiction Prize of £10,000 for the best short story, open internationally to new and established writers 16+.
Submit a story up to 3,000 words on any subject, any style, but must be fiction and new work, not published elsewhere during this competition. Prizes are awarded as part of the 2011 Manchester Literature Festival and the competition is judged by Heather Beck, John Burnside, Alison MacLeod and N...

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News

Red Shed OPEN POETRY COMPETITION 2011

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Wakefield's finest (poetry organisation) is keen to receive your poem and to pay you £100 for it - providing it wins, of course. the REd Shed poetry competition, 2011, is now open.

Prizes: 1st - £100 2nd - £50; Wakefield Postcode prize—£25

Sole adjudicator: Robert Powell

Closing date: Friday 29th April, 2011

Go to it!

Full details: http://www.currockpress.com/poetry_competition_2011_entry_form

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News

That Takes Ovaries – performance and open mic with a difference!

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Not strictly poetry perhaps, but Liverpool’s Unity Theatre hosts a unique celebration of women’s courage, perseverance  and outrageousness with real-life stories  from around the world; from  the disabled  woman organising a ‘pee protest’ to secure her right to a  accessible toilet,  to  the ‘smutmonger’ who breaks boundaries  to write about sex, and those women who risked their lives to  highlight child prostitution and honour killings.

After the show the audience is invited to join in a...

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Write Angle Petersfield

Standing room only for Liz Bentley at February Write Angle

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February's Write Angle had people rushing to get in – till there was standing room only. Many new people, along with those who 'won't miss it' . The word is spreading – or should we say the fame of 'the Spoken Word'and Open Mic, is spreading! Poetry is hitting radio, TV and even being made into films, BIG TIME! The evening held the anticipication as ever, of the unexpected!

Mike Knee started out with guitar, singing, 'Changing Lives in Bordon' – about someone in his band, mistaken for Piers...

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Review

Doing the Standing Still

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I remember going to a poetry reading at the Bluecoat, in Liverpool, a few years back.  Gordon D Henry was reading and there was a Q&A session after.  The first question asked from the audience left me gobsmacked at the arrogance of the questioner, who wanted to know how she could best use her poetry to put across her anti-racism.

 

It was not simply her self-delusion of grandeur that rankled me but also that question implied that poetry was no better than journalism or propaganda.  Sh...

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Review

What do you get if you cross a cat with a weazle? A: |cat x weazle x sin (theta)|, where theta is the angle between

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What a honky-tonking, stonking

Poetry performing, barnstorming

Guitar-strum, maelstrom,

Meek and haughty

cello and piano-their-forte

All-singing, all-words-dancing,

Dynamic, eclectic, electric

Night it was at Kilburn’s Catweazle

When I visited.

No causal link, nor said in drink

I just think

It was.

 

North London Tavern,

comes alive, this dive

along the old A5, where you can drive

all the way to Holyhead

though best to stay, ...

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News

Dudley Sutton appearing at London's BEAT

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Dudley’s list of screen roles is legendary, but now he is playing with words, in his ”struggle against respectability” as he calls it.Cult actor Dudley Sutton will be appearing at London’s BEAT poetry and acoustic night this Monday. And it’s free! He is supported by Siofra McSherry - Irish Oxbridge poet/lecturer with a voice with ancient depth spiced with the fresh breath of youth; Tomas Adejumo with his soulful love poetry and a voice that could put Barry White out of business; award-winning...

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News

Performing spoken word master class at Lancaster University

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Breaking Cycles is a master class provided by Benji Reid to allow you to expand your range as a performer and gain a better understanding of the relationship between action and the spoken word.

Benji was body-popping champion and co-choreographer for Soul II Soul. He studied physical performance with Philippe Gaulier, and has had sold-out performances at the National Theatre, Sydney Opera House and PS 122 in New York.

And he will be at Lancaster running this intriguing workshop on 3/3...

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News

LIGHT MADE SOLID, Ben Mellor's new CD

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Described by Lemn Sissay as “a pure undiluted talent, concentrated”, Ben Mellor was a winner of the Write Out Loud organized North West heat, and went to become national champion, of the 2009 BBC Radio 4 Poetry slam. Now he has produced a CD to go with his book, Light Made Solid. And there’s a special deal available!

If you were there that night at the Green Room – who wasn’t? – you will know that Ben is a superb poet and performer, so here’s a chance to read and hear many of his award-winn...

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Poem of the month

Wife and Mother

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Ray Miller chose this month's poem. He says of it, "What I admire about the poem is its restraint and dignity, even the rhymes are spare and unobtrusive.It is a heart rending poem which manages to steer clear of self-pity."

Find out more about Alison and her poetry at http://www.writeoutloud.net/poets/alisonjohnson


Wife and Mother

I have not eagerly sought a blue line,
gulped down a budding desire for a plus.
I have seen the results of a CAT scan,
and been told the sente...

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News

Win Train Tickets to Paris

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Amida, the Sustainable Development Recruitment Agency, has launched a poetry competition with a sustainability theme, with your chance to win 2 return tickets to Paris!

Sample poems, from Amida's own employees, are currently on their blog to, hopefully, give you inspiration for your own poems.

Deadline for entries: Monday 14th March 2011 at 5pm. 

Details here http://www.amida-recruit.com/event-details.aspx?q=3

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News

Cooper Clarke, Hegley, and loads of open mic at Cheltenham Poetry Festival

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There are some cracking events on at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival that starts this week and runs from 31st March to 3rd April 2011.

Yep, John Cooper Clarke, John Hegley, Bohdan Piesecki and lots, lots more poetry stuff including several open mic opportunities. Other highlights include:

Themed events exploring different poets’ responses to feelings or experiences, for example Poetry and Gardening, and The Poetry of Love.
The Gloucester Schools’ Poetry Slam, along with other s...

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News

Join the Write Out Loud BIG Weekend - £30 off for last few places

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First come first served for a £30 last minute discount for an absolute bargain poetry fun weekend.

This whole event was brilliant! said one participant at our last Write Out Loud BIG weekend. Wonderful, superb, thank you, thank you! were more, typical of our 100% excellent feedback. Now you can find out what all the fuss was about by signing up for one of the last few places!

In fact, this time will be even better, with top-class writing workshops, great company, chance to hold your o...

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News

Aesthetica Creative Works Competition

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Aesthetica Magazine is inviting all artists, writers and poets to submit their work for entry into the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition 2011.

Now in its 4th year, the Creative Works Competition is dedicated to celebrating and championing creative talent across three disciplines, indentifying new writers and artists and bringing them to international attention.

The competition has three categories – Poetry, Fiction and Artwork & Photography, and the winners and finalists from each...

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News

Buxton Poetry Competition 2011

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The Buxton Poetry Competition 2001 is open for entries in 3 categories:  Open Poetry (aged 19 and over), Young Peoples Poetry (ages 12 to 18) and Children’s Poetry (aged up to 12)  - Age is as of 1st April 2011.

The theme of the competition is ‘Fire’ and poets are invited to use their imagination to interpret in anyway they please.

Prizes for the Open category: £300, £200 and £100

Prizes for the other categories: Book tokens

Closing Date for all entries is 1st April 2011.

...

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News

Your Favourite Place to Write ...

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Edith Wharton would compose in bed on a writing board propped upon her lap, while Roald Dahl conjured his creations in a shed at the bottom of his garden... When the Arvon Foundation asked some of their tutors where they liked to write, they had a great response. Poets Penelope Shuttle likes writing in the attic, while Simon Armitage admits his favourite place is in his head, and actress, writer and comedienne - Isy Suttie (pictured) likes to write in a messy bedroom amidst dirty clothes.

...

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News

The Woman in White

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Litfest is inviting you to enjoy a rip-roaring Victorian mystery novel in your lunch-hour this month – Wilkie Collins’ classic ‘The Woman In White’. A suspenseful tale of madness and stolen identity, with a cast of weird and wonderful characters, it has been a readers’ favourite since its serialisation in 1859-60.

The popular Lunchtime Classics events are a 40-minute introduction to works of great literature, with a chance to hear excerpts read aloud. Dr Catherine Spooner from Lancaster U...

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News

Welsh Short Story Competition - win £1k

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The 2011 Rhys Davies Short Story Competition could be your big chance to make your mark on the Welsh literary scene and get your hands on the First Prize of £1000. A further ten equal runner-up prizes of £100 are also available. Plus, the 2011 competition once again sees Academi working with BBC Radio Wales who will broadcast a selection of the winning stories on BBC Radio. Academi is delighted to announce that the 2011 competition will be judged by award-wining writers Trezza Azzopardi, Russ...

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News

Huddersfield Literature Festival 2011

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This year’s Huddersfield Literature Festival is taking place at various venues throughout the city from the 16th to 20th March.

The festival is launched with a celebration of 25 years of Peepal Tree Press. Though this is a free event tickets will go fast so it’s best to book early.

There are some well known and prestigious names taking part: David Peace, Anne Fine, Simon Armitage, David Nobbs, AL Kennedy and controversial teenage fiction writer Melvin Burgess.

The programme is pac...

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News

Norwich Writing Workshops 20011

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Writers’ Centre Norwich has announced a series of writing workshops that are running throughout 2011.

Highlights include weekly short courses in poetry (led by Esther Morgan) and fiction writing (Stephen Foster), and a host of day workshops looking at writing for radio, poetry environments, literary agent consultation and more

To find out full details of all the courses click here

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News

Wondermentalist Cabaret

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What have Elvis McGonagall (pictured), comedy songs and the hole-punch that you nicked from the office got in common? Well, they’re all featured on BBC Radio 4’s fantastic new comedy-cabaret poetry show ‘Wondermentalist Cabaret’.

Write Out Loud’s Julian Jordon has, thoughtfully, reviewed the first instalment for you. Read it now: http://writeoutloud.net/public/blogentry.php?blogentryid=19160  but if you want to listen to that episode – you’ll have to be very quick, as you’ve only one day ...

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News

Moss Rich Poetry Competition

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Pighog Press have teamed up with the Centre for Community Engagement (CCE) and the Students Union at the University of Sussex to launch The Moss Rich 'Sounding the Site' Poetry Competition - celebrating Britain's oldest working poet, Moss Rich. Still captivating readers with his un-blunted brand of satirical verse, Moss Rich (pictured) is now in his 101st year!

The competition is only open to those living, or attending a secondary school, college, or university in Sussex. The theme is ‘Ro...

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News

International Welsh Poetry Competition 2011

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The 5th International Welsh Poetry Competition has just been opened to one and all and is now accepting entries.

The aim of the competition is still to encourage and reward the abundance of creative writing talent that exists in Wales, but you don’t have to be Welsh to enter as the competition is open to anyone from anywhere in the world.

This year’s competition will be judged by the winner of last year’s competition - Welsh writer Sally Spedding (pictured). Sally has published five n...

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News

Musical Star Wanted!

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Write Out Loud poet, Kate Tym, is also part of a comedy song singing double act.... but her musical partner is leaving her... and she needs a new one!

She's looking for a female, aged between 30-ish to 50ish, who can play an accompanying instrument and sing to a fairly high standard. She should also be able to compose music to Kate's lyrics, work collaboratively, feel comfortable performing funny stuff and not mind rude!

It would also be great if you live within an hour's distance of ...

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Submission guidelines

Submissions Wanted!

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What we want

Write Out Quiet does not publish a lot of poetry, and most of that which we do put out there will either be messed with in some way, critiqued unflinchingly or reproduced in partial quotation only in order to illustrate a point made in an article.

Most of our output is in the form of articles and reviews.  We are also keen to publish your views on both the ezine itself and poetry issues in general in our letters page, together with any amusing problems you’d like ...

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Trippin'

Write Angle with Mab Jones, Chichester

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Out of an audience of almost 50 people packing the room (who said January was noted for having small turnouts?), there were 20 Open Mikers including several professionals. Many poems were performed – not read. Amazing! The gig lasted longer than usual, and no one left! Another high energy evening for Write Angle, proving 'the spoken word' is becoming more popular, and is seen as clever and fun, rather than 'hard work'.

Write Angle's comic/poet, Mab Jones, in from Wales, had everyone in st...

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Horoscopes

Dunking Valentines - Just to let you know where I am: I'm out

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Ooh! February! My favourite month! Off down to Hallmark to get a shed load of Vallies! Think I’ll send one to every lady poet on WOL! Bless!

 

Aries

Mars is giving you a boost

Then your chicks come home to roost

Don’t spend too much on wine and chocs

You could end up with writer’s block

 

Taurus

Venus is in Capricorn

And things are looking gripping

You might win the lottery -

So no more bread and dripping!

 

Gemini

With Mercury in Aq...

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News

Winners of Café Writers’ Competition

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The Café Writers’ 2010 Poetry Competition received an entry of 1,936 poems.

The organisers give a huge thanks to all those who entered and hope the fact that you have contributed to maintaining their exciting programme and paying writers properly helps mitigate any disappointment, if you haven’t won.

The Judge Michael Symmons Roberts writes:

This year's bumper crop of poems for the Cafe Writers Competition made the judge's job a tough but fascinating one. As ever with open competitions, th...

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News

The Rememberers

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In an ambitious attempt to go beyond the one-person show, and integrating all kinds of multi-media elements to tell a sci-fi story with hip-hop lyrics, Apples & Snakes have got together with the Birmingham Rep to bring you a ‘live, hip-hop graphic novel’ called The Rememberers.

Written and performed by Kenny Baraka, the story is set in 2150AD in Norflyn – the People’s Defence Training Basecamp– half a mile west of NorCon’s central facility. The story is of 16-year old ‘7’s discovery that ...

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News

Hit the Ode

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Birmingham’s new poetry night- ‘Hit the Ode’ is really gathering momentum, with the last edition almost filling the Victoria’s upstairs space to capacity. Each night features one act from the West Midlands, one from elsewhere in the UK, and, uniquely, one international guest.

The star-studded edition on Thursday, 10th February, will give Brummies the chance to see Coventry’s Fatima Al Matar, Bristol’s Byron Vincent, and New York’s Joshua Bennett, alongside local open mic poets, and reside...

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News

£5,000 Poetry competition deadline approaching

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The 2011 Cardiff International Poetry Competition is open and waiting for your entry. The first prize-winner will walk away with a cheque for £5,000 for just one poem. And with further prizes of £500 for second place and £250 for third (plus five runners up will each receive £50) – it’s a competition surely worth entering!

The competition is accessible to all; it doesn’t matter if you are an established poet or just dabble with verse now and then. All entries to the competition will be ju...

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News

Warwick Words

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Warwick Words Writers’ Group will be reading their poetry, short prose and scripts followed by an open mic session on Thursday, 24 February 2011, at The Warwick Arms Hotel, High Street, Warwick. 

Warwick Words Writers stemmed from the Warwick Words Festival of Literature and Spoken Word that started in October 2006, and writer Andrew Davies is their patron.  The group still supports the Festival by promoting it through publicity and production of its work, and has a page on the Festival's...

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News

Spoken Word All Stars in Bradford

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Spoken Word All Stars presents an all-star cast of some of the brightest poets of the day, performing an original live show with the award-winning jazz musican Jason Yarde.
 
Kick back and enjoy as the All Stars wordsmiths take you on a journey of tales and thoughts, comedy, tragedy, romance, philosophy backed by an addictive mix of musical loops, addictive beats and seductive melodies.

Hosting by Wordlife's Joe Kriss, featuring Bradford poet Joolz Denby, poet, sin...

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News

On the Radio - You!

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Manchester Literature Festival (which runs from Thursday, 13th to Sunday, 23rd October, 2011) is teaming up with ALL FM Community Radio Station for a project the will celebrate poetry along the A6 ‘corridor’, as well as offering you the opportunity to take part in a six week radio production course.

They are commissioning five poets from the area – Suzanne Batty, Helen Clare, Pete Kalu, Shamshad Khan, and Martin de Mello – to produce new poems set in, and around, the Stockport Road area o...

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News

There were four of us ...

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When Anna Akhmatova wrote in 1961  ‘there were four of us’, she was referring to a time fifty years before during what came to be known as Russia’s Silver Age when she wrote ‘Three Things Enchanted Him’ – the short poem that had such a profound and long-lasting effect on contemporary poetry with its realism and disaffection about love.

The three contemporaries Akhmatova (pictured, in a painting by her lover – Modigliani) referred to were Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam, and Marina Tsveta...

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News

StAnza Festival 2011

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StAnza, Scotland’s only festival dedicated to poetry, now has tickets on sale for its 2011 programme which runs from Wednesday, 16th until Sunday, 20th March.

Held every March since 1998, in Scotland’s oldest university town – St. Andrews, this international festival is a fantastic opportunity to hear world class poets reading in exciting and atmospheric venues, to experience a wide range of performances using music, film and dance together with poetry, to view exhibitions linking poetry ...

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News

Cumbrian Poetry Workshop Weekend

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IMAGINATION-BASED POETRY WORKSHOP

WHEN? JULY 22-24 2011 

WHO? CO-RUN BY NY POET GEORGE WALLACE AND UK POET GERALDINE GREEN

WHERE? AT MADDY PRIOR’S ‘’STONES BARN’’ – ROWELTOWN, CUMBRIA, UK

Stimulate your writing through exercises based on re-discovering and using your imaginative skills. Imagination-based poetry moves away from the traditional or confessionalist approach to writing poetry and, through magical realism, surrealism and fictive writing, permits the writer to crea...

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News

Live Literature Project - Lancaster

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Lancaster's Litfest is looking to work with a writer or writers on developing a piece of live literature.

The project will run through a series of meetings and rehearsals between the writer/s and Artistic Director, Andy Darby, and Publishing Development Manager, Sarah Hymas. The aim is to explore and develop of a piece of literature for performance. We do not expect to have a finished piece, performance-ready. by the end of the process. This is a time of play.

Andy and Sarah will offe...

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News

Norwich Poetry Workshops

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New Year equals new health regimes, and this applies to poetry too! From writing great poetry with the likes of Esther Morgan and David Harsent to exploring poetry environments with David Morley, your poetry will never have felt better.

All corses held at Writers’ Centre Norwich Office, 14 Princes Street, Norwich, NR3 1AE. To book or find out more Call: 01603 877177 or email: info@writerscentrenorwich.org.uk

Exploring Ideas and Beliefs in Poetry with Michael Symmons Roberts
Sunday 13th Feb...

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News

Lancaster Poetry Workshop Series

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Writing Poetry: the sound of a poem workshop with Elizabeth Burns. A series of workshops for poets of all levels of experiences. Date: Tuesdays 1st – 22nd March, 7-9pm at The Storey. Cost £45 (concs £35).

Elizabeth will lead an exploration of rhythm and rhyme, voice and tone, sound patterns and oral traditions – and how to make your poems sing. There will opportunities to write and read new work, share it with the group and offer feedback to others In this informal and thorough four week ...

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News

Big Bilston Love Slam

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Tickets are now available for the fourth Big Bilston Love Slam on Saturday, 12th February 2011. Fifteen poets will be judged by the audience as they perform their own poems until only two poets remain for a head-to-head final! This is performance poetry at its very best!

And all for the entrance price of just £10 a ticket (£9 concessions) – which includes a fantastic curry.

The evening will be hosted by Sara-Jane Arbury and Marcus Moore, and will start at 8pm (doors open 7.30pm) at th...

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News

Creative Writing Workshop - Lancaster

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This is an introduction to creative writing workshop led by Sarah Fiske on Thursdays 17th February – 7th April, 7-9pm at The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster LA1 1TH
Cost: £80 (£65 concs)
Book by 3rd February

 

Sarah will create a relaxed, and supportive atmosphere in which people can have fun with writing. Exercises will encourage you to find your own voice; develop characters; use active description to bring settings and situations to life; explore humour; develop confl...

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News

Poetry on the Paris métro

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“We wish you a 2011 full of poetry” is the message greeting travellers on the Paris metro, buses and trains. Brightly-coloured posters with a few lines from well-known poets add cheer to dispel the winter gloom in the French capital.

Prévert, Aragon, Sabatier and our own William Blake have snatches of their work displayed on brightly-coloured posters designed to cheer up les Parisiens until 22nd January.

Unlike the popular “Poems on the Underground” this initiative does not display wh...

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News

Can You Help?

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Do you know of any writers’ groups in your area? Perhaps you organise or are thinking of starting one? Well then, we’d like to hear about it!

We know from our own experience that groups are not only enjoyable, but more often than not, very worthwhile in helping you develop as a writer, stimulating the imagination, and connecting with other poets. But sometimes they’re not easy to find out about. So we thought, how about a guide to Writers’ Groups around the country? – or beyond!

But w...

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News

Ledbury Poetry Competition

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The Ledbury Poetry Festival has launched its annual poetry competition for 2011 and  are delighted that Ty Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre for Wales has again agreed to sponsor the first prize. 

There are three categories in the competition: Adults (judged by Anthony Thwaite), Young People (12 – 17) and Children (judged by Mandy Ross). 

 Prizes

Category 1 - Adult (18 and over)

First Prize                            Ty Newydd writing course in 2011

Second Prize        ...

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Trippin'

Uptown Slam

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I recently(ish) returned from an 8 week trip around the world. It was an amazing journey, which I miss now, though there are comforts in being home too of course. It was a journey in search of secrets about my father, family history in Eastern Europe, and the American dream in USA, amongst other things. I wrote a blog whilst on it: http://emmadecent.wordpress.comif you’re interested. However the poetry highlight was Chicago’s Uptown Poetry Slam - ‘where slam began’ in 1987 - organised and sti...

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Horoscopes

Another year over. A new one's just begun

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Ahah!!! 2011 an’ all that! A time for New Year’s Resolutions I hear you cry (BOOO HOOO! Here‘s a hankie!) Well, alright then! (Note to self re 2011 - mustmustmust install an electric cooker.)

 

 

Aries

On the horns of a dilemma you may be

So many outcomes in the stars I see

But my turban’s slipped right o’er my face

And your future’s looking all over the place!

But when you win the lottery think of me!!

 

 

Taurus

You’ll pound your hooves now

...

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Write Out Quiet

The right word

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In Writing classes I like to quote the opening of Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s: ‘I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighbourhoods, For instance, there is a brownstone in the East Seventies where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New York apartment.’  Each time I quote this I ask the class why it is so compelling an opening. Everyone agrees it is good, but no student can say why, nor can I. ‘I am always drawn back to the plac...

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Poem of the month

Dance On

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This month's poem was chosen by David Cooke.

To find more about Greg and his work: http://www.writeoutloud.net/poets/gregfreeman


DANCE ON

My brother only dressed as a Ted
To avoid weekend dust-ups; he couldn’t
Stand rock and roll. At home, in his room,
He strolled forwards, then back,
Wearing a glazed, intellectual smile.

At night he belted home on his bike,
The last outlaw fleeing Henry Fonda,
Or maybe Henry Ford.
He’d run up to his room, slam the door shut,
...

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Article subjects from 2011