Poetry is our beating heart: a very happy Christmas to all

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Poetry is at the heart of Write Out Loud, and its sole reason for being.  Poetry writing is a kind of reflecting on, an attempt to make sense of, life, perhaps. Christmas and New Year often put us in reflective mood, whether pondering the peculiarities of kith and kin’s seasonally-related madness, or atavistic musings as December closes. At hundreds of live poetry events across the UK, we gather t...

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News

MC Newberry's 'Lycra' poem in anthology to mark Le Grand Depart

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Write Out Loud regular MC (Mark) Newberry’s poem, ‘Lycra-clad loony’, has been included in Spokes – Poetry on Two Wheels, an anthology of cycling poems published to celebrate Le Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire next year. The anthology has an introduction by Ian McMillan and incl...

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News

Christmas and New Year cancellations: organisers, please let everyone know

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Each year we email all those whose events are listed with us over the Christmas/New Year period, and ask them whether the event will actually be taking place. If it isn't, we ask you to mark the event...

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News

Back of the net: Musa Okwonga's 'Ode to Football' marks FA anniversary

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The Football Association has released a video, ‘An Ode to Football’, by poet Musa Okwonga, to mark its 150th anniversary. The video is a team effort, with appearances by Steven Gerrard, Theo Walcott, ...

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News

Six Bad Poets: Christopher Reid, Faber & Faber

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Go to a gathering in poetry's metropolis, and it’s surprising how often you spot Christopher Reid there. Now there appears one possible explanation for his ubiquity: all the time he was gathering comi...

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Review

Laureate Carol Ann Duffy's poem for Christmas

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A Christmas poem, Bethlehem,  by the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, appeared in the Guardian’s Review section on Saturday 21 December. It refers to the “small, raw cry of a new life”, and goes on: “on...

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News

Douglas Dunn is awarded Queen's gold medal for poetry

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Douglas Dunn has been awarded the Queen's gold medal for poetry, in recognition of his lifetime contribution to literature. Dunn is best known for Elegies, about his first wife’s death. Committee chai...

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News

'I begin with the title': Gillian Clarke on Desert Island Discs

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The national poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, has spoken of how she writes, how often she writes, and the “transformational power” of poetry in a wide-ranging discussion with Radio 4’s Kirsty Young on D...

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News

On Euclid Avenue: J Fergus Evans, Flapjack Press

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The Manchester poetry scene has been enriched by a number of North Americans over the past 10 years. J Fergus Evans adds to the trove with a fine collection, On Euclid Avenue, published by Salford’s F...

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Review

Nelson Mandela: lighting candles around the world

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The national poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, has written a tribute poem for Nelson Mandela, called Madiba, which refers to his years of imprisonment at Robben island,  how he came out smiling after 27 ...

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News

Rhyme and metre and the rhythm of rail at Sowerby Bridge

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There were poems about the North Yorkshire Moors railway and the Ribblehead viaduct, about liaisons in carriages and seaside specials, about old tracks turned into walkways, and even about slinging ch...

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Review

To Sing Away the Darkest Days: Norbert Hirschhorn, Holland Park Press

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No book which looks at the Jewish race through its language and culture, as Hirschhorn’s does, can completely avoid asking all the unanswerable questions.   But it seems to me this collection of work ...

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Review

Zaffar Kunial is Wordsworth Trust's new poet in residence

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Zaffar Kunial will take up residence in mid-January as the Wordsworth Trust’s poet in residence  at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. He was born in Birmingham and currently lives in Yorkshire, and was placed t...

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News

Write Out Loud's Julian Jordon nominated for 'unsung hero' award

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Write Out Loud’s founder, Julian Jordon, has been nominated for an “unsung hero” award. The awards will be made at a fundraising gala and Christmas lunch held by Panda, the Manchester-based performing...

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News

Host Jeffarama! takes centre stage at Write Out Loud Bolton

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Jeff Dawson (Jeffarama!) will be reading from his new book, Loud ’n Proud, at Write Out Loud Bolton Sunday 15 December. Entry is £1, or £5 if you want to buy a copy of Jeff’s book, plus free raffle ti...

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News

Fight digital surveillance by states, urges writers' group English PEN

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Poets who are members of the pressure group English PEN are being urged to sign an international appeal already backed by 500 writers around the world protesting at mass digital surveillance by the st...

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News

Write Out Loud Wigan is coming to town tonight

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Dig out your Santa hats for the Christmas edition of Write Out Wigan, at the Tudor House hotel in New Market Street, Wigan, on Thursday 12 December. Turn up in a daft, fancy, ludicrous or artfully mad...

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News

Green light for railway poetry at Sowerby Bridge arts festival

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A night of poetry about railways, to be held in a station refreshment room, is on the timetable for the Sowerby Bridge arts festival,  from 7-14 December. Railway Lines is scheduled for Thursday 12 De...

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Festivals calendar

Nine Arches Press launches anthology to mark milestone

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Midlands-based Nine Arches Press is launching a new anthology, Maps & Legends: Poems to Find Your Way By, to celebrate its five years of publishing. Poets in the anthology, edited by Jo Bell, include ...

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News

Zaffar Kunial is Wordsworth Trust's new poet in residence

Zaffar Kunial will take up residence in mid-January as the Wordsworth Trust’s poet in residence  at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. He was born in Birmingham and currently lives in Yorkshire, and was placed t...

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News

Japanese poet Hideko Sueoka's 'Owl' wins £2,500 Troubadour prize

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A Japanese poet, Hideko Sueoka, from Tokyo, has won the £2,500 Troubadour poetry prize with her poem, ‘Owl’. Second was Mona Arshi, from London, with ‘Bad Day in the Office’, and third was Tim Nolan, ...

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News

Roehampton Poetry Centre launched by Fiona Sampson and David Harsent

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Poets, academics, artists, editors, readers and lovers of poetry gathered on Tuesday evening at the British Library, to launch the Roehampton Poetry Centre. Led by professors David Harsent and Fiona S...

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News

Write Out Loud's David Andrew selected for poetry blog

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A poem by Write Out Loud’s Gig Guide and Poetry Directory editor, David Andrew, appeared on Friday on Josephine Corcoran’s poetry blog,  And Other Poems. The blog aims to share poems that would not ot...

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News

Creative springboard: art inspires Poetry School students

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They toured art galleries in London in search of inspiration. Some even travelled to Venice for the Biennale.  And on Tuesday night at a reading at the Redfern Gallery in Cork Street, London, eight Po...

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News

Write Out Loud at Stockport on Monday

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Members of Write Out Loud Stockport will meet on Monday 9 December to share their poems at Stockport art gallery, and to create a collage poem. Beginners are especially welcome. Entry is a £1 donation...

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News

Egypt's 'poet of the people' dies aged 84

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An Egyptian poet who supported the 2011 uprising that toppled the Mubarak regime and was known as the “poet of the people” for his political verse in colloquial Arabic has died aged 84.

Ahmed Fouad...

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News

Alice Oswald's Memorial wins poetry in translation prize

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Alice Oswald’s Memorial, a poetic reworking of Homer’s Iliad, has won the Poetry Society’s Corneliu M Popescu prize for poetry in translation, it was announced on Friday night. Oswald was chosen as wi...

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News

Female friends? Emma Press wants poems for new anthology

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Do you have poems about female friendship? The Emma Press is looking for poems for a new anthology, to be published in November 2014, and edited by Amy Key. Its website says: “We want the book to refl...

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Publications

'Hunchback in the Park' competition reaches out to trauma victims

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A competition inviting responses to the Dylan Thomas poem, ‘The Hunchback in the Park’, has been launched, with the closing date 27 April, and the best submissions to be published in an anthology late...

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Competitions

Train Songs: eds. Don Paterson and Sean O'Brien, Faber & Faber

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Maybe I should put my trainspotter’s notebook aside as I clamber aboard to review the Faber anthology, Train Songs, edited by Sean O’Brien and Don Paterson. Am I justified in wondering about the numbe...

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Review

Write Out Loud talks to Radio Wildfire

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News editor Greg Freeman could be heard talking about Write Out Loud in an interview with online radio station Radio Wildfire,  in the latest edition of its monthly live literature programme, which wa...

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News

Michael Symmons Roberts on Costa prize shortlist

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Drysalter, the Forward prize winning collection by Michael Symmons Roberts, that has already been placed on the TS Eliot prize shortlist, has now made the Costa prize shortlist as well. The Costa priz...

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News

Popular Glasgow poet died when helicopter hit pub

A popular, working-class Glasgow poet has been confirmed as among the dead after a police helicopter crashed on to a pub late on Friday night. John McGarrigle, aged 59, had been sitting in his usual s...

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News

South Bank Poetry extends £200 competition deadline

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The deadline for South Bank poetry magazine’s £200 competition has been extended for a few days, until 4 December. Judge Clare Pollard is looking for original, unpublished poems of up to 55 lines with...

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Competitions

Poems about yoga? Entries sought for the Yogic Path poetry prize

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The closing date is 28 February for the Yogic Path poetry prize, for poems on yoga. The prize is three signed books by organiser Mira Mehta, and publication in Yoga and Health magazine and on the Yogi...

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Competitions

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