'To crease a sheet of paper is to change its memory'

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This column is more than 10 years old and I've finally gotten around to trying a little origami! Here's a poem about that, and about a good deal more than that, by Vanessa Stauffer, who teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. 




Lessons 
 

To crease a sheet of paper is to change

its memory, says the origami

master: what was a field of snow

folded into flake. A crane...

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American Life in Poetry

Yarn: Maitreyabandhu, Bloodaxe

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I can remember the first Maitreyabandhu poem I ever read. It was in a collection for a competition of winning and shortlisted work. It was about some mules and, though rated as “selected” only, I thought it was much better than the actual winning poems. Better? Its close observation, its playful way...

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Review

Deadline day for £1,000 Kent and Sussex poetry competition

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Anne-Marie Fyfe will be judging the £1,000 Kent and Sussex poetry society open competition. The deadline is 31 January 2016. More details 

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Competitions

First the cheers, now the arguments over TS Eliot Prize winner

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A row has erupted over this year’s winner of the £20,000 the TS Eliot Prize, with the long-running satirical magazine Private Eye querying the award to poet Sarah Howe for her debut collection Loop of...

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News

Deadline nears for £500 Interpreter's House competition

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Costa poetry prize winner Jonathan Edwards will be judging the £500 poetry competition run by The Interpreter’s House magazine. The deadline is 30 January 2016. More details

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Competitions

Spoken word publisher Burning Eye offers faster route to publication

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Leading spoken word publisher Burning Eye Books has launched a new venture to publish more poets, after finding itself “inundated” by submissions to its main list. The new venture, BX3, is aimed at th...

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News

Plans to open poetry bookshop have been delayed, says magazine editor

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A poetry magazine editor who launched an appeal to fund a poetry bookshop in London has revealed that plans to open it will now be delayed for some time.

It had been planned to launch the bookshop ...

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News

History or Sleep: Robert Sheppard, Shearsman

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Robert Sheppard is probably one of the most important poets writing in Britain at the moment. A big claim for a poet you’ve probably never heard of; but I think I can justify it. He is important as a ...

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Review

Deadline nears for £200 Prole competition

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Kate O’Shea will be judging the £200 Prole laureate competition, run by Prole literary magazine. The deadline is 31 January 2016. More details

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Competitions

Problems receiving notifications from Write Out Loud? Here's the reason

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We’re sorry to say that since Saturday Microsoft has been blocking emails sent out from our server, which has meant that people with @live, @hotmail and @outlook email addresses were no longer receivi...

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Technology

Liz Berry to judge Black Country Museum's poetry competition

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Forward prize winning poet Liz Berry will be guest judge of the Dudley-based Black Country Living Museum’s poetry competition. The theme is earth and air, and the deadline is 29 July. More details

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Competitions

Countdown to Scottish National Slam Final in Glasgow

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The Scottish National Slam final is taking place on 13 February at the Tron theatre at 7.45pm in Glasgow, with the winner having the chance to compete in the World Series event that takes place each y...

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News

Deadline nears for £250 Torriano poetry competition

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Ann Drysdale will be judging the 2016 Torriano poetry competition. First prize is £250, and the closing date is 31 January 2016. More details

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Competitions

Calling young poets: deadline nears for Agincourt competition

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Youngsters are being invited to take up a poetry challenge about the battle of Agincourt, celebrated in Shakespeare’s Henry V, to help mark the battle’s 600th anniversary earlier this year. The Aginco...

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Young Write Out Loud

Write Out Loud Middleton at the Ring O' Bells tonight

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Retired research chemist David S Ryder is guest poet at Write Out Loud Middleton on Sunday 24 January at the Ring O’ Bells pub, St Leonard’s Square, Middleton. Entry is a £2 donation to this open-mic ...

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News

Only one week left to swallow a mushroom and focus on folding a penny

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Five words to build your poem around if you wish to enter the

3rd Ó Bhéal Five Words International Poetry Competition
January 19th – 26th 2016

penny   swallow   mushroom   focus   fold

Competi...

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Competitions

No cravats just ten powerful readings

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The annual event to celebrate the shortlist for the T.S. Eliot Award 2015 took place at the Royal Festival Hall, hosted with humour - and a number of cravat jokes, the result of a conversation with a ...

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News

Three Write Out Louds at once: Sale Tues, Marsden Weds, Middleton(Rochdale) Sun.

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You wait all month…

All are welcome to share their words at each of these popular events. Expect poems as diverse as their creators are individual.

Tonight,19th Jan, Write Out Loud Sale's (pictu...

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Write Out Loud

Arvon course programme announced

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Arvon has published its programme for 2016, with 17 poetry courses including titles ranging from the prosaic starting to write poetry to the intriguing poetry as controlled explosion.

The tutorial ...

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Courses

Reading Yeats is a good start...

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Suggests YorkMix Poet-in-Residence Carole Bromley for those looking for inspiration for their 2016 entry to the The York Literature Festival/Yorkmix Poetry Competition.  A York postcode is required to...

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Competitions

Poetry floods the Calder Valley

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The River Calder recently burst its banks in spectacular fashion, wreaking misery for many in Ted Hughes’ old stamping grounds of Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, with Sowerby Bridge and Elland similarl...

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News

Countdown to three big festivals in early 2016

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Write Out Loud  is looking forward to the first big festivals of 2016. The year’s curtain raiser is invariably Scotland’s Stanza poetry festival, pictured, taking place this year from 2-6 March at St ...

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News

Sentenced to death for writing poetry

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Ashraf Fayadh, a 35 year old Palestinian poet and artist has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for ‘apostasy’.   This apparently means writing poetry that someone in authority considers anti-Isl...

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A county's poet laureate talks about the challenges and opportunites of the job

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Isabel Rogers was this week appointed Hampshire Poet for 2016. But what does it mean to be a local poetry figurehead? Here are the thoughts of Staffordshire’s current poet laureate, Bert Flitcroft:

...

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Platform

Deadline nears for £500 Teignmouth competition

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Martyn Crucefix will be judging the £500 Teignmouth poetry festival competition. The deadline is 31 January 2016. More details

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Competitions

Cottoning on to Oldham retail park's textile mill past with sculpture and poetry

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The historic past of a retail park in Oldham that was once the site of Britain’s newest and largest textile mill has been recaptured in sculpture and poetry. Two sculptures titled ‘The Spinners’ and ‘...

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News

Volunteer wanted to help at Ledbury Poetry Festival

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Ledbury Poetry Festival organisers are looking for an enthusiastic volunteer to co-ordinate a Festival window display competition for businesses in Ledbury in the run up to and the duration of the Fes...

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And the winner is ....

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Gifted poet, Sarah Howe,  whose debut collection Loop of Jade was awarded the T. S. Eliot poetry prize 2015 on Monday evening, January 11th at a ceremony which took place at the Victoria & Albert Muse...

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Worldwide readings planned in support of Palestinian poet facing death sentence in Saudi Arabia

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Worldwide readings will take place on Thursday 14 January in support of Ashraf Fayadh, the 35-year-old Palestinian-born poet, artist and curator who has been sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for all...

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News

Quiet Compere's 'poemathon' in bid to reach £3,000 crowdfunding target

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Quiet Compere Sarah L Dixon has been working overtime to raise funding for her 2016 tour, after the Arts Council turned down two bids from her in quick succession. Her latest move has involved writing...

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News

Floods force cancellation of two spoken word nights in Hebden Bridge

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The Christmas floods in the Calder valley have forced the cancellation of two spoken word nights in Hebden Bridge. Shindig’s final two scheduled nights in January and February at Nelsons Wine Bar have...

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News

Not in this World: Tracey Herd, Bloodaxe

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Not in this World is an impressively readable collection of poems about loss and pain, where the poet expresses deeply personal ideas and emotions while avoiding self-revelation.

Tracey Herd is a S...

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Review

'Light larking between wind and current will be in this sweater'

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The only passage of scripture that I know by heart is from Ecclesiastes: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the g...

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American Life in Poetry

Deadline extended into February for £600 Bristol poetry prize

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WN Herbert will be the judge of the £600 Bristol poetry prize, organised by Poetry Can. The deadline has been extended until 12 February. More details

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Competitions

Deer Fording the Missouri in Early Afternoon

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I love to have people come up to me and say, "You'll never believe what I saw this morning," and then go on to tell me. It's their delight that I like so much. Here's a poem in that vein by Kevin Cole...

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American Life in Poetry

New team taking over at Write Out Loud Sale

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A new team is taking over at Write Out Loud Sale this month. Sarah Pritchard, assisted by Mo Harrop, will be co-ordinating the regular monthly poetry open mic night at the Waterside arts centre, Sale,...

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News

Rhythm of the rain: former geology lecturer launches first full collection

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A former associate lecturer in geology with the Open University will be launching her first full collection of poems on Tuesday 12 January at the Betsey Trotwood pub in Farringdon Road, London. A Gap ...

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News

Your chance to perform in the poetry tent at this year's Glastonbury festival

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Calling all poets, spoken word artists, raconteurs, stand-up poets and slam champs … Glastonbury festival’s Poetry & Words is looking for applications from experienced writers and performers to appear...

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News

John Evans to judge £500 Welsh poetry competition

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John Evans will be judging the £500 Welsh poetry competition. The deadline is 29 May. More details

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Competitions

Poetry School launches spring courses

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The Poetry School will be launching its spring programme of courses and workshops with a reading at the Tea House theatre in Vauxhall Walk, London, on Thursday 14 January from 6.30pm. Those reading wi...

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Courses

Deadline nears for £1,000 Magma competition

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Daljit Nagra will be judging the £1,000 Magma prizes for poems of 11-50 lines. A panel of Magma editors will judge the £1,000 prize for poems of up to 10 lines. The deadline is 18 January 2016. More d...

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Competitions

Don Paterson's 'graceful and moving' 40 Sonnets wins Costa poetry award

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Don Paterson’s 40 Sonnets has won the Costa poetry award, it was revealed on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row arts programme on Monday night. The judges - poet Julia Copus, poetry critic Adam Newey, and Melani...

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News

Poetry goes ahead at Sowerby Bridge as Calder valley mops up after the floods

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Poetry will be going ahead as usual on Monday in the flood-hit Calder valley – at least it will be at Puzzle Poets at the Puzzle Hall Inn at Sowerby Bridge, where the guest poet is Kim Moore on 4 Janu...

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News

Searching for meaning: an evening of spoken word from prisons

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Joelle Taylor, Adam Kammerling, Jasmine Ann Cooray, Joshua Idehen, and Paula Varjack will be reading poems, stories and letters written by prisoners on Thursday 21 January at the Free Word Centre in F...

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News

Looking back and looking forward: wishing you all a fulfilling and creative new year

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With all the carnage and mayhem going on in the world, it might seem pointless to try spreading joy this Christmas/Hanukkah/midwinter festival/just past Diwali. But we are with the people of Paris in ...

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News

Wendy French to judge £5,000 Hippocrates prizes

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Poet Wendy French, Harvard physician and poet Rafael Campo, and Gareth Powell, secretary of the Methodist Church conference, will judge the £5,000 Hippocrates open and NHS prizes for poetry and medici...

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Competition

Lemn Sissay's recollections of his childhood on Desert Island Discs is a Radio 4 pick of the year

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Lemn Sissay talking about his childhood in care on Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young has been included in BBC Radio 4’s Picks of the Year by Robert Peston. In the same week as the broadcast went o...

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News

Liz Lochhead awarded Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

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Scotland's national poet Liz Lochhead has been named as the winner of this year’s Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. The poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who chaired the medal's judging committee, said: "Li...

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News

52: Jo Bell, Nine Arches Press

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The idea of the 52 project was brilliantly simple. Jo Bell knows a lot of poets. She was inspired, in a moment of generosity and madness, to set up a “global workshop group” with hundreds of practisin...

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Review

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