The countdown starts for a different kind of National Poetry Day this year

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The countdown has started for National Poetry Day on Thursday 1 October, which will be quite different this year because of lockdown restrictions. The National Poetry Day organisation is inviting everyone to celebrate on the big day by sharing a poem with friends, family and neighbours, online and in the places they live and work. They hope that hundreds of mini-events, including bubble-friendly #...

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Sonnets and bonnets: Simon Armitage to appear at drive-in poetry reading

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A poetry drive-in is due to take place on Sunday 11 October at Kenwood Hall hotel, Sheffield, when the poet laureate Simon Armitage will read live for an audience socially distanced in their cars. Advertised as an evening of “sonnets and bonnets”, Armitage will be premiering two new works commission...

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Poetry: compulsory or optional at next year's GCSE exam? That is the question

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An exam body has quietly – or, maybe, not so quietly – reinstated poetry as a compulsory topic in its GCSE English literature exam next year. There was an outcry last month – in the poetry world, at a...

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Places of Poetry map for posting poems to be reopened for a few days next month

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Last year’s popular Places of Poetry project, in which poets were able to post their poems on a map of England and Wales, is being revived for a few days from the start of next month.

In 2019 poets...

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Anne Stevenson, poet and biographer of Sylvia Plath, dies aged 87

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The American-British poet Anne Stevenson has died at the age of 87 at her home in Durham following a short illness. Saying it was “deeply saddened” to announced her death, her publisher Bloodaxe said ...

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Lockdown limbo: poetry and music band Bard Company launch book after cancelled gigs

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Two organisers of regular Write Out Loud Nights – Ian Whiteley (Wigan) and Jeff Dawson, aka Jeffarama! (Bolton) – have teamed up with fellow members of their Bard Company poetry and music band to prod...

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Refugee poet and translator George Szirtes named as Booker prize judge

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A poet and translator who came to Britain as a refugee at the age of eight after the Hungarian uprising in 1956 has been named as one of the 2021 International Booker prize judges.

George Szirtes, ...

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Emma Purshouse gets the lockdown lowdown on Black Country dialect poetry on BBC Radio 4

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Writer and performance poet Emma Purshouse explored the Black Country and its poetry on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 6 September, investigating why contemporary writers in the region are still using dialect ...

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Thousands back petition over 'grave concerns' for future of National Poetry Library

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More than 6,000 people have already signed a petition expressing “grave concerns” about the future of the National Poetry Library at London’s Southbank Centre. The petition points out that imminent jo...

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'A Bradford millionaire': line from The Waste Land is clue to £20,000 donation

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A line from TS Eliot’s poem The Waste Land has provided a bizarre clue to a £20,000 donation from the poet’s estate to the Brontë Parsonage, the BBC has reported. The Covid-19 pandemic has put the mus...

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Rave On, John Donne: Ireland's poet-president Michael D Higgins delivers tribute to song's writer Van Morrison

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The president of Ireland, and poet, Michael D Higgins, has performed ‘Rave On, John Donne’ as part of a tribute by the magazine Hot Press to the poem/song’s writer, Van Morrison, to mark the 75th birt...

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