The year when poets were moved by tragedies at sea

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Write Out Loud news editor Greg Freeman looks back at the poetry stories of 2015:

Poets are often looking for a prompt – and many found them, in a good way, this year. Not only from the publication this month of Jo Bell’s excellent book arising out of her 52 Project, but also from world events, such as the Syrian refugee crisis. 

Moved by the photographs that shocked the world of a three-yea...

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News

Luisa Igloria wins £5,000 Resurgence eco-poetry prize

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The Filipina American poet Luisa Igloria has won the £5,000 Resurgence prize for eco-poetry, judged by Sir Andrew Motion (chair), Jo Shapcott and Alice Oswald. Motion, the former poet laureate, praised the winning poem for its “authenticity, intensity and cohesion”.

Second prize of £2,000 was awa...

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Poetry translator returns prize and withdraws entries

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The winner of a £1,000 prize for poetry in translation has returned the prize and withdrawn his entries, after allegations of plagiarism surfaced in a poetry news blog. Allen Prowle, a respected trans...

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News

Love is a Battlefield: Louise Fazackerley, Nymphs & Thugs

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Eight years ago, Louise Fazackerley went to a event in Wigan organised by Write Out Loud host and poet and lyricist in his own right, John Togher.  Like the birth of many a performance poet, this prov...

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Review

Keats, celery, Luton, wallpaper: John Hegley brightens wet night in Hebden Bridge

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On a rainy evening in Hebden Bridge I ventured down a side street, pushed open a forbidding door and ascended the stairs of the Trades Club. Given the history of the Calder valley I half-expected to s...

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Review

Poetry student Shirley-Anne Kennedy gets off to flying start

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A member of the Write Out Loud team who co-hosts the Write Out Middleton open mic night has been named joint winner of a poetry competition. Shirley-Anne Kennedy, who also co-hosts the monthly Kultura...

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'Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going': Jo Bell's 52 poetry prompts book to give 2016 a kickstart

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First there was the 52 Project itself, that former canal laureate Jo Bell set up after a new year resolution, with prompts – “Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going.” It grew into a group with mor...

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News

Sarah Howe wins £5,000 Sunday Times award

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Poet Sarah Howe has won the £5,000 Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award for her first collection, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus).

The award, which is in its 25th year,...

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Campaigners in new plea to free poet serving 15 years in Qatar jail

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The writers’ pressure group, English PEN, has launched a new call for the release of poet Mohammed al-‘Ajami, known as Ibn al-Dheeb, who is serving 15 years in prison in Qatar for a poem. English PEN ...

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'Curious pedestrian' Luke Kennard to tour the towpaths as new canal laureate

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The poet Luke Kennard is to take over from Jo Bell as canal laureate, the Poetry Society and the Canal & River Trust announced on Monday. The new canal laureate has admitted, that, unlike Jo Bell, he ...

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Remembering the refugees: Write Out Loud Marsden looks for Christmas contributions

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Poets attending Write Out Loud Marsden at Marsden library on Wednesday 16 December will be asked to contribute to an appeal to raise money to help a group that has already set off from Bolton to build...

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News

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 14 December at 7pm to share poems at their-open floor poetry night. Every month a collage poem is produced from m...

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Lines in a station waiting room: poets brighten up the day for passengers

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Poems created during a poetry workshop at Stalybridge library are now adorning the walls of platform four’s waiting room at nearby Stalybridge station.

One of the poems is by 98-year-old Thora Bedd...

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Poetry, song and Christmas cheer from Carol Ann Duffy and Little Machine

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A packed Emanuel School hall in Battersea, the stage lit with flickering candles and draped with red roses, the Dark Rose for Christmas album artwork provided an atmospheric backdrop. A silver-grey wi...

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Review

For those in peril on the sea: poets deliver their words to aid refugees at all-day reading in London

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“When I was growing up the Mediterranean was a beautiful place where you went on holiday. I think the tabloids have subverted it into something else.” The words of Peter Raynard, author of the Proleta...

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Quiet Compere speaks up: plea for Crowdfunder aid to help fund 2016 tour giving poets 10-minute spots

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A poet whose Quiet Compere tours have mixed page and stage, established poets and emerging voices, and allowed many local poets their 10 minutes in the spotlight is appealing for Crowdfunder pledges t...

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Catch the choo choo to Write Out Loud Wigan's Christmas party at the Old Courts tonight

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It's over a year now since Wigan’s Tudor House hotel closed its doors to patrons, poets and other people who like to drink a lot ... At the time it felt like a cruel blow.  Many of us had found our pe...

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Questions over future of Aldeburgh poetry festival after organisers' huge cuts

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There is a question mark hanging over the Aldeburgh poetry festival - in the eyes of many, the best poetry festival in the country - after its organisers, the Poetry Trust, announced swingeing cutback...

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News

Barbara Marsh wins £5,000 Troubadour poetry prize

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An American living in London, Barbara Marsh, has won this year’s £5,000 Troubadour International poetry prize. Her poem about memory, ‘The Farthest Way East’, set on the US-Canada border, with its ref...

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Talking about poetry: Kulturá seeks sponsors for 2016 lectures at Kava cafe

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Maria Isakova Bennett is the guest poet and John Duffy will deliver the poetry lecture at Kulturá’s last event of 2015 at Kava cafe in Todmorden on Thursday 17 December at 7.30pm.

Kulturá, hosted b...

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News

Journeying along the waterways as Jo Bell looks back

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A journey through Jo Bell’s three years as canal laureate took place at Little Venice in London on Wednesday night, involving, among other things, kingfishers, dry docks, the enormous Caen Hill flight...

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Review

Quality is the word at Cambridge Pub Poets, the group that meets just twice a year

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Cambridge Pub Poetry Group returned to the city where it was formed nearly 20 years ago for a special autumn reading on Tuesday night. Founder member and organiser Colin Shaw said: "It was a highly su...

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Tales from the venues

Wanted: a new host and co-ordinator at Write Out Loud Sale

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Write Out Loud is looking for a host and co-ordinator - or shared post - to take over at Write Out Loud Sale and follow in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors John Darwin, Rod Tame, and Steve O’...

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News

Lottery Fund awards grant for spoken word and performance poetry archive

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The Heritage Lottery Fund has handed out a grant of £86,000 to create a “living archive” for the “often marginalised art form” of spoken word and performance poetry, including rare sound and video rec...

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News

Poem-a-thon over 10 hours to raise cash for refugees

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A poem-a-thon in London involving up to 60 poets reading for eight minutes each to raise money for refuges has already beaten its £12,000 target – before any of the poets have uttered a word.

The p...

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Aylan poem in refugees anthology

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A poem that first appeared on Write Out Loud, and was prompted by the worldwide anguish at pictures of the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a beach in Turkey, is ...

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News

Don't Mention the Children: Michael Rosen, Smokestack

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Until I read the blurb, I thought the title of this collection of adult poems by the former children’s laureate, Michael Rosen, might refer to hiding the content of this book from the children  - or p...

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Review

Andrew McMillan is first poet to win £10,000 Guardian book award

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Andrew McMillan has become the first poet to win the £10,000 Guardian first book award with his debut collection, physical, it was announced on Wednesday. The Guardian’s books editor, Claire Armitstea...

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Ryan Van Winkle wins £2,000 Saltire Scottish poetry book of the year award

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Ryan Van Winkle has won the £2,000 Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year award, supported by the Scottish Poetry Library, for his collection The Good Dark, published by Penned in the Margins.

Va...

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News

Lucy Ingrams wins £10,000 Manchester poetry prize

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Lucy Ingrams has won the £10,000 Manchester poetry prize for a best portfolio of three to five poems, with a maximum combined length of 120 lines. She has also won the Birkbeck Michael Donaghy poetry ...

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