'I love you without knowing how or when this world will end'

Craig Santos Perez packs into this love sonnet, 'Love in a Time of Climate Change', echoes of many famous love poems, from Robert Browning’s 'How Do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43)', to Shakespeare’s 'Sonnet 18', to Neruda’s 'Sonnet XVII'. In the title, he alludes wittily to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. But to what end, one may ask? To remind us of the persistence of love t...

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American Life in Poetry

Talking back at Shakespeare: Luke Kennard's 'Notes on the Sonnets' wins £10,000 Forward prize for best collection

Luke Kennard has won this year’s £10,000 Forward prize for best collection for Notes on the Sonnets (Penned in the Margins), a collection of responses to Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, which he described on the stage at the Forward readings on Sunday night as “essentially an act of insolence”. He has al...

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News

Poetry editor Amy Wack retires after 30 years with Seren

Poetry editor Amy Wack, who is retiring after 30 years at the independent publishers Seren, based in Bridgend, south Wales, has confessed in an interview that she has “an almost purely musical ear for...

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News

Performance Rites: Barry Smith, Waterloo Press

Barry Smith has a soft spot for the 1960s. ‘Beatific’, inspired by ‘The Beatles 1962’ by Sir Peter Blake, is bursting with colour, as was the later part of the decade. It is the small details that thi...

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Review

Drawing the line: Ray Pool looks back at last days of steam

Write Out Loud regular Ray Pool has reached the age where he is a privileged possessor of what is fast becoming a prized secret. As a young man, keen photographer and railways enthusiast he witnessed ...

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Publications

Pressed Flowers: eds. Charley Barnes, Polly Stretton, Black Pear Press

Oshibana, or the art of pressing flowers in such a way as to make a whole picture, dates back to the 16th century, according to Japan Today. When exchanges between Japan and Europe increased in the ea...

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Review

'You see only what you want to see. Maybe you always did.'

The elegant irony of Elaine Equi’s lament - what the Germans, I am told, call, Weltmüdigkeit, (world-weariness) - in her poem ‘In an Unrelated’, about the very contemporary phenomenon of ‘the news cyc...

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American Life in Poetry

Irish president leads tributes to 'charm, wit and passion' of poet Brendan Kennelly

Tributes have been led by Ireland’s president after the death of Brendan Kennelly, who was described by the Irish Times as one of the country’s most popular poets, at the age of 85.

Kenelly was bei...

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News

Poetry Toolkit conference to look at community projects and how to win funding

Publisher Nine Arches Press and arts organisation Writing West Midlands are bringing together poets, performers, publishers, literature agencies, and writer development organisations to discuss, debat...

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Opportunities

Sister of murdered MP Jo Cox attends 'Poems of Hope' sessions after killing of Sir David Amess

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater, who is the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, joined Batley Poets on Saturday when they delivered Poems of Hope at the Green in Heckmondwike and Batley market place, West...

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News

Heaney’s landscape: five key places on poet’s inspirational map

The links between the poetry of Seamus Heaney and his Northern Ireland landscape have been made more accessible to visitors. Open Ground, a series of five locations which held great significance for H...

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News

Driftwood by Starlight: Caroline Gill, Seventh Quarry Press

Prize-winning poet Caroline Gill, who currently lives in Suffolk, grew up in London, Kent and Norfolk. After graduating in classical studies at Newcastle University, she went on to teach Classical Civ...

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Review

'Clear and compelling voices': the TS Eliot prize shortlist is unveiled

Judges Glyn Maxwell (chair), Caroline Bird and Zaffar Kunial have chosen the 2021 TS Eliot prize shortlist from a record 177 poetry collections submitted by British and Irish publishers. The list comp...

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News

'A song sparrow hit the window just as summer began'

Bruce Willard’s poem ‘Song Sparrow’ captures with such intimacy the interruption of the comforting rituals of time: seasons changing, children growing older, water under the bridge, the world continui...

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American Life in Poetry

Seán Hewitt wins £5,000 Laurel prize

Seán Hewitt was won this year’s £5,000 Laurel prize for his debut collection Tongues of Fire. The Laurel prize, set up by the poet laureate Simon Armitage, is an annual award for the best collection o...

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News

Paul Muldoon provides the poetry magic as festival returns to 'trousers-on' audiences

Abruptly, without any fanfare, Paul Muldoon began his reading at Winchester poetry festival by fishing out his mobile phone and reading John Keats’ poem ‘To Autumn’. Afterwards he said merely that his...

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Review

'wait on the chicken to know he gone and it take a while'

When historical figures become the subjects of poetry, there is a rich opportunity for transporting us into the emotional world of such people through the beauty of the imagination. The facts of Anarc...

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American Life in Poetry

Growing Places: Polly Stretton, Black Pear Press

Chair of the OU Poetry Society, poet, coach and mentor Polly Stretton is the author of three previous full-length poetry collections, Girl’s Got Rhythm (2012), Chatterton (2014) and The Alchemy of ’42...

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Review

Delayed by Covid ... but now Manchester's poetry library has opened its doors

Manchester Poetry Library has opened its doors at last. Its opening, which finally took place last month, was delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown. The north-west’s first poetry library is at Manchester M...

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News

Winners of Foyle Young Poets of the Year award are announced

The Poetry Society has announced the 15 winners of its Foyle Young Poets of the Year award, for poets aged 11-17. They are: Evie Alam, aged 14, from South Shields; Ahana Banerji, 17, Putney, London; A...

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Young Write Out loud

Today! It's the big day ...

It's National Poetry Day! This year’s theme is Choice – and you can find out about some of the events taking place today on the organisation’s map here. The Reader charity, which recruits volunteers t...

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News

Boris Johnson quotes poet and praises the wealth of Stoke Poges

Boris Johnson found himself rooting around for metaphors among the dead in a country churchyard when he recruited the 18th century poet Thomas Gray to support his “levelling up” agenda in his speech a...

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News

'That eye-on-the-object look': Auden quoted by Labour leader at conference

We’ve had US president Joe Biden quoting Seamus Heaney, on more than one occasion – and last week the labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was citing WH Auden in his leader’s speech to the Labour party conf...

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News

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch judges Wales Poetry Award

Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch will be judging the £500 Wales Poetry Award, run by Poetry Wales magazine. The competition is free to enter for writers of low-income backgrounds living in the UK.  The deadli...

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Competitions

Deadline nears for £5,000 National Poetry Competition

Fiona Benson, David Constantine and Rachel Long will be judging this year’s £5,000 National Poetry Competition, run by the Poetry Society, which is now open for entries. The deadline is 31 October. Mo...

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Competitions

'Joy Uncensored' film of poetic battler Joy France wins festival prize

A short documentary film about performance poet and rap battler Joy France has won the best documentary award at the Women Over 50 film festival. The documentary titled Joy Uncensored, made by Norther...

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News

That people thing … enjoying poetry for real at our live open-mic poetry venue again

For the past month or so Write Out Loud has been heralding the return of live, in-person open-mic poetry all over the country – and last night I experienced it for myself, on a cold, wet Thursday, the...

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News

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