A happy new year to all - and here's a look back at the poetry of 2014

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To all our friends helping keep poetry alive and kicking, we wish you all a peaceful Christmas, and a creative and lively new year. It’s that time of year when we look back as well as look forward, as Write Out Loud’s news editor Greg Freeman recalls his UK poetry highlights of 2014. It was a poetry year that focused on two centenaries – the outbreak of the first world war, and the birth of Dylan ...

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News

Premier League footballers read Christmas truce poem by Ian McMillan

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A century after the 1914 Christmas truce took place, top footballers, including Manchester City's Vincent Kompany, Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal), and  Charlie Austin, of Queens Park Rangers, and managers have appeared on the FootballRemembers.com website reciting a special poem in their name.

The v...

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News

Deadline nears for €10,000 Ballymaloe poetry competition

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The Ballymaloe international poetry prize  – one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single poem  – is to be judged by Forward and Costa prize winner Michael Symmons Roberts. The prize is sponsor...

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Competitions

End of December deadline for Canterbury poetry competition

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Helen Ivory will be judging Canterbury-based SaveAs Writers’ poetry competition. First prize is £100, and the deadline is 31 December 2014. More details 

 

PHOTOGRAPH: DAVID ANDREW / WRITE OUT L...

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Competitions

'Hot spot' Rhythm & Muse goes out with stylish finale of poetry and music at the Ram Jam

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All good things must come to an end – especially when a pub changes hands. And so it came to pass that a very successful poetry and music night in Kingston-upon-Thames marked its last event after four...

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News

The poetry of dementia: Sarah Hesketh reports back on lives in a care home

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Last year Sarah Hesketh spent 20 weeks as a poet in residence with Age Concern. Each week, she  would take a train to Preston and spend a day with the staff and residents of Lady Elsie Finney House, a...

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News

'Suddenly the phone never stopped ringing': Wendy Cope on publishing her first book of poetry at the age of 40

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Wendy Cope has talked of how it felt when she published her first book of poetry, at the age of 40. In an interview with the Observer magazine, Cope said: “I was a single, somewhat lonely, primary sch...

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News

Friends of slam poet Davy Mac appeal for help to pay for his funeral

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A plea has been issued by friends of a poet in Oxford who died without any assets to help pay for his funeral. David MacArnold, better known in poetry circles as Davy Mac, died in hospital last month,...

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News

Write Out Loud at Marsden tonight

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Write Out Loud founder Julian Jordon is organising another gathering of Write Out Loud Marsden at Marsden library, Peel Street, Marsden on Wednesday 17 December. Entry is £2 to this open-floor poetry ...

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News

Timelines: Carolyn O'Connell, Indigo Dreams

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Journeys are a feature of this collection – many of the poems contain lines that operate as reflections on the passing of time, mostly in the context of generations within and beyond a particular fami...

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Review

Ten poets bring Quiet Compere's year-long tour to an end with spice and humour

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Sarah L Dixon’s inspired Quiet Compere poetry tour giving 10 poets 10 minutes each to read at every venue bade farewell to 2014 with a night at the Blue Cat Cafe in Heaton Moor, Stockport.

It was a...

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Review

Prize poet John Foggin - and a winning poem that he started working on in 1983

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Sir Andrew Motion is clearly a man “of impeccable taste and discernment”, the recipient of two poetry prizes bestowed by the former poet laureate insisted on Friday night. John Foggin, a former teache...

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News

Actor from Salford who 'hated poetry at school' wins Farrago UK slam title

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An actor, spoken word artist and singer/songwriter from Salford won the Farrago Poetry UK slam final at the Courtyard theatre in London on Friday night. Tom Gill, now based in London, won two rounds o...

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News

That's all, folks: Richard Tyrone Jones looks back on 10 years of 'Utter!' spoken word

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Richard Tyrone Jones is calling time on the long-running  ‘Utter!’ live event that he has hosted for the last 10 years, and on his spoken word career, with a final gig at the Amersham Arms in London o...

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News

The Write Out Loud interview: Ted Hughes award winner Maggie Sawkins

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Earlier this year Maggie Sawkins won the Ted Hughes award for innovation, with Zones of Avoidance, a poetic account of a daughter’s addiction that is also an ambitious multimedia presentation using fi...

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Interview

Step into Christmas with Write Out Loud Wigan at the Old Courts tonight

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They’ve said their farewells to the Tudor … and now Write Out Loud Wigan has moved on, to its new home at the Bailiff’s Bar, The Old Courts, in Crawford Street, Wigan. It’s a night of Christmas poetry...

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News

Dylan and Caitlin photographs on show at the Poetry Cafe

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A collection of early photographs of Dylan Thomas and his wife Caitlin, taken by Nora Summers, forms the latest exhibition on the walls of the Poetry Café in Covent Garden, London. In the spring of 19...

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News

Double Bill: edited by Andy Jackson, Red Squirrel Press

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I have just had a stressful few days, but 10 minutes with this volume of gems cleared my mind, refreshed my brain and invigorated my laughing muscles. Double Bill is a worthy follow-up to 2012’s Split...

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Review

Dan O'Brien wins £5,000 Troubadour prize with barrel bombs poem

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American poet and playwright Dan O’Brien has won the £5,000 Troubadour international poetry prize. Last year O’Brien won the Fenton Aldeburgh first collection prize for War Reporter, a collection of "...

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News

On the cards: Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

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Members of Write Out Loud Stockport will be meeting at Stockport art gallery on Monday 8 November at 7pm to read and discuss their own poetry, with “cards” this month’s exercise subject. Entry is a £1...

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News

Sifting through the dustbins of history: new anthology turns up all manner of surprises

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Rummaging through a library’s dusty archives – or more likely these days, clicking a few times on Google – can unearth all sorts of historical curiosities.

The anthology Other Countries: Contempora...

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News

Poetry tennis with Steve Nash and Gaia Holmes at Sowerby Bridge

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There’s plenty of poetry at Sowerby Bridge arts festival, from 6-14 December. On Monday 8 December at 7pm a poetry reading by Saboteur award winner Steve Nash and Gaia Holmes features a round of “poet...

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Festivals calendar

Home truths from abroad: Louise Fazackerley's lyrical, authentic performance at Write Out Loud

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To see a world in a grain of sand, wrote Blake, and heaven in a wild flower.

On Thursday, the Risk a Verse audience at Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, was shown a world with which most of us were unfami...

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Review

Split Screen, edited by Andy Jackson, Red Squirrel Press

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There are lots of poetry anthologies out there these days; some good, some middling, some not so great. But Split Screen - poems inspired by film and television and edited by Andy Jackson - is an anth...

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Review

Nerves in York, laid-back in Brum, triumph in Blackpool: Quiet Compere looks back on her poetry tour

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On Sunday 7 December, at the Blue Cat Café in Heaton Moor, Stockport, a remarkable poetry tour will stage its last performance of 2014.  The Quiet Compere tour, masterminded by compere Sarah L Dixon, ...

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News

Exotic, esoteric, freewheeling: an evening with Long Poem magazine

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Many calls for poetry submissions specify a maximum length of 40 lines. Long Poem magazine, as the name suggests, takes the opposite view. Ten contributors read at the launch of issue 12 on Wednesday ...

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Review

Lighting up Trafalgar Square tree with poetry

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Three London schoolchildren will read a specially commissioned poem by Liz Lochhead at the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting up ceremony on Thursday 4 December.

With the Poetry Society and t...

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News

Start of the journey: Poetry School's 'Routes' students recapture introductory year with anthology

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A poetry celebration took place in the upstairs room of the Betsey Trotwood pub, on London’s Farringdon Road, on Thursday night.  The popular poetry venue saw the launch of Recapture, a pamphlet antho...

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News

Genghis Khan's bloodline, and Moll Cutpurse: poets take fresh look at history

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A poetry anthology that takes a fresh look at events and figures of the past will be launched on Wednesday 3 December at the Star of Kings pub on York Way, King’s Cross, London. Other Countries: Conte...

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News

Commonword has arts grant restored after appeal

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The Manchester writer development organisation Commonword is celebrating after having its  funding reinstated by Arts Council England, five months after it was axed.

Commonword had appealed against...

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News

Doctor with the right medicine: Write Out Loud interviews the Emergency Poet

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She goes round the country in a 1970s ambulance that she picked up on eBay, and with the help of an assistant, dispenses poetry on prescription to make people feel better. “Emergency Poet” Deborah Alm...

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Interview

In praise of three poets from the West Midlands

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There is no shortage of literary talent coming out of the West Midlands and Offa’s Press is leading the way in promoting some its finest voices to the attention of a wider audience.

Nick Pearson is...

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Review

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