'I haven’t held it since we moved ten years ago. But I might. I could'

I am a lit­tle embar­rassed by this poem because recent­ly, I asked my sis­ter in Jamaica if she knew where our father’s ash­es were. We chuck­led at how we were still fail­ing our beloved father forty years after his death. There is a vein of the same refresh­ing macabre humour in Kath­leen McGookey​’s poem 'The Box' — the way a crock­pot reminds her both of her fail­ure as a daugh­ter and her af...

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American Life in Poetry

'It's been a difficult time for everyone, but we're proud of our track record': Indigo's Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling

Publishers and partners Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling of Indigo Dreams recently notched up two more Saboteur indie awards - for most innovative publisher, and for best collaborative work for their joint poetry collection, Forest moor or less. They run annual pamphlet and full collection competitio...

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Interview

The terrible and the absurd: a Simon Armitage film-poem Where Did The World Go?

BBC2 has screened an examination of the pandemic, using a film-poem written by the poet laurate Simon Armitage as a narrative that charts the progression of Covid, from the early rumours arriving from...

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News

Sold out again! Our latest Write Out Loud poetry masterclass with Anthony Anaxagorou

Our first two poetry masterclasses were a roaring success. Delivered by Rachel Long and Caroline Bird respectively, they fully sold out and generated some wonderful feedback. It’s clear that there’s a...

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Write Out Loud

Back down the garden path as poet laureate returns to his shed

Simon Armitage is heading down the garden path for a second series of The Poet Laureate Has Gone to His Shed on Radio 4. The former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, accompanied by his 12-string acoustic,...

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News

Spoken word and music night to make you howl: London's Mother Wolf Club opens its doors

The spoken word scene in London is slowly returning to live – and meanwhile a brand-new night has risen with easing of lockdown. The Mother Wolf Club – a mix of poetry including open-mic, and music – ...

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Events

When Women Fly: Sarah Pritchard, Hidden Voice

This is a brave collection that revisits the seven stages of women’s lives from the angles of displacement and personal trauma and from an LGBT perspective. The titles of the seven sections give an id...

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Review

50 Ways to Score a Goal and other football poems: Brian Bilston, Macmillan

It’s all a question of timing if you want to succeed in sending the ball past the custodian – and in poetry, too. Here’s the ever-popular Brian Bilston in his football kit and with a newly-published c...

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Review

Luke Wright heads back on the road with three different shows

Luke Wright, this year’s Saboteur spoken word award winner and an indefatigable online performer during lockdown, is taking three different shows on tour in the coming months as lockdown eases, as wel...

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Events

'You are the most beautiful dark'

I heard Yona Har­vey say in an inter­view that this loose Shake­speare­an (“the bard”) son­net was writ­ten for her teenage daugh­ter, which makes its deep, lay­ered beau­ty a touch­ing mon­u­ment to ...

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American Life in Poetry

Owen Sheers to judge £1,000 Wells poetry competition

Owen Sheers will be judging the Wells Festival of Literature's £1,000 poetry competition. The deadline is 30 June. More details 

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Competitions

Invite to the palace: are you on the list? (Nov 2013)

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are holding a reception “to celebrate contemporary British poetry” on Tuesday 19 November at 6pm –  and, not surprisingly, the poetry world is wondering who has bee...

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Down memory lane

'Today is a good day': Lemn Sissay awarded OBE in Queen's birthday honours list

Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay has been awarded the OBE in the new Queen’s birthday honours list. Sissay, who was previously awarded an MBE, said on Twitter: “Today is a good day.” Sissay, who is cha...

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News

'And when the owl stirred, a fine dust fell from its wings'

In many cul­tur­al tra­di­tions, an encounter with an owl at night is an omi­nous sign. But here, in a poem by recent Shel­ley Memo­r­i­al Award win­ner, Arthur Sze, (first pub­lished in 1982), there ...

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American Life in Poetry

Scientists and poets team up to explore creative links

An album pairing spoken word artists with scientists is being launched by spoken word label Nymphs & Thugs. The Experimental Words album features well-known scientists such as BBC Radio 4’s Professor ...

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News

Watch it tonight! Our second Spoken Sessions, with Ella Frears and Sean Wai Keung

You’ll no doubt have seen Greg Freeman’s article on poetry promoters tentatively returning to in-person venues. These are springing up around the country at a delightful rate, with performers and audi...

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Write Out Loud

Easy does it … some poetry organisers ready for careful return to live venues

Leading performance poet Tony Walsh is looking forward to live venue appearances again as poetry makes tentative steps towards returning to venues as lockdown eases. Tony said on Twitter: “Live events...

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News

Meet the shortlisted contenders for this year's Forward poetry prizes

The 2021 Forward prize shortlists for best collection, best first collection and best single poem are announced today. The collections in the running for the £10,000 best collection award touch on the...

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News

Poems to mark massacre at gay nightclub to be released on anniversary

Poems by 16 LGBTQ poets are to be released on an album, We Will Keep On, in response to a documentary called Disarm Hate about the Orlando massacre at a gay nightclub in the US.

On 12 June, 2016, O...

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News

Spoken word series hosted by Benjamin Zephaniah wins Bafta award for best entertainment programme

Life & Rhymes, a four-part spoken word series on Sky Arts that was filmed during lockdown in a London park, was a surprise winner of the Bafta best  entertainment programme award on Sunday night, beat...

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News

Scottish poets ready to kick off the Euros

The Scottish Poetry Library is celebrating Scotland co-hosting with England the Group D matches of the Euros football championship with three live poetry events that can be watched online.

On Satur...

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News

Former editor Boris Johnson wins Spectator's £1,000 limerick competition (May 2016)

A £1,000 limerick competition run by the Spectator magazine has been won by its former editor, Boris Johnson. The competition was aimed at finding a limerick most insulting to Turkey’s president Recep...

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Down memory lane

Hello to a new look at our archives

With mixed feelings, Write Out Loud is marking the gradual return to live-venue poetry by ending its ‘We’ll Meet Again’ feature, which helped to keep us going during the dark days of total pandemic lo...

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We'll meet again

The best of Attila the Stockbroker, with knobs on!

I have no truck with folk who deem poetry about terrible events ‘tragedy porn’. I’ve long held the opinion that poets are cultural historians, and that it is almost our duty to document tragic or unju...

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Review

Wigan poet Shaun Fallows included in artwork celebrating street

A regular poet and legend at Write Out Loud Wigan for the last 20 years – and more recently a regular contributor at Write Out Loud Woking on Zoom - has been included in a Wigan artwork celebrating th...

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News

How I learned to love the kyrielle, the kimo, the ovi, and the bop

Heather Moulson is a popular and entertaining open-mic poetry performer. However, she is still a relative newcomer to poetry – and always keen to learn more. Here she attends a course and experiments ...

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