'Twee we're not!': whimsy, mysticism and tragedy in Harrogate

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Organiser Helen Shay tells of the “staggering” array of poetry – “humorous, whimsical, gut-wrenching, shocking, philosophical, mystical, confessional, tragic, moving” – to be heard at Harrogate’s Poems, Prose and Pints

 

PPP has been held on every third Wednesday of the month for around eight years, based at the Tap & Spile, a traditional real ale pub in central Harrogate on Tower Street (up...

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Tales from the venues

'The Boy Who Conquered Fractions' by Cynthia Buell Thomas is Write Out Loud Poem of the Week

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‘The Boy Who Conquered Fractions’ by Cynthia Buell Thomas is Write Out Loud’s new Poem of the Week. The poem tells how a nine-year-old boy - “part dynamo part zombie”  - whose behaviour is described by his class teacher as unacceptable is cajoled into understanding division of fractions, and what th...

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Poem of the week

Coming soon ... Birmingham's poetry and spoken word festival

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Birmingham’s poetry and spoken word festival will take place over four days between 16-19 February at Waterstones, pictured, in the city centre. Organisers of Verve poetry festival promise “establishe...

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News

'You are now only a person I may hope to meet momentarily'

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Seeing a stranger who reminds you of someone else, well, it happens to all of us. After my father died I saw dozens of little old men in hats like he wore, on their way here and there, not quite my da...

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American Life in Poetry

Once more with feeling: four Surrey Poets at the Torriano

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The Torriano Meeting House in north London has played host to many poets over the years. On Sunday it welcomed four from Surrey  – although, technically, only one was really from that county – plus it...

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Review

'People Watching' by Paul Waring is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week

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‘People Watching’ by Paul Waring is Write Out Loud’s Poem of the Week. On his profile page Paul, a retired clinical psychologist, tells a remarkable story – that he used to write poetry in the 1990s, ...

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Poem of the Week

Summer Rain: Noel Duffy, Ward Wood

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I knew the word “entropy” and had a vague idea that matter becomes disordered over time. Nothing more. Noel Duffy’s collection changed that very satisfyingly. It educated and interested me in scientif...

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Review

Looking for poems about courage to put on display in Huddersfield

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Huddersfield literature festival, which takes place 4-19 March, is looking for poems about courage, with selected poems appearing in prominent spaces and shops within the town centre. The competition ...

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Competitions

Remembering a ground-breaking book of poetry, 50 years on

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“They called the book The Mersey Sound. We didn’t want it. It looked as if we were cashing in on the Beatles – and of course we were. We were christened the Pop Poets – not as in Pop Art but as in pop...

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News

Jacob Polley's 'Jackself' wins £20,000 TS Eliot prize

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Jacob Polley has won the £20,000 TS Eliot prize for his collection Jackself, published by Picador, it was announced on Monday. Ruth Padel, the chair of judges, said Jackself was “a firework of a book;...

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News

Andrew Marr to chair Forward judges

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Broadcaster, writer and journalist Andrew Marr is to chair the Forward prize panel of judges, it was announced on Wednesday. Marr is a former editor of the Independent newspaper and former BBC politic...

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News

'One by one all the questions you ever had become clear'

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Those of you who've returned home to visit parents may recognise the way the familiar and the strange wash together in this wise and peaceful poem by Robert Tremmel. The poet is from Iowa and his most...

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American Life in Poetry

Poet in residence Simon Armitage renews links with sculpture park

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Simon Armitage will be poet in residence during 2017 at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a place that has particular poetic memories for him. The park at West Bretton, near Wakefield, celebrates its 40th...

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News

Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club tonight

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Write Out Loud Bolton is switching back to meeting on Sundays instead of on Tuesdays, organisers Jeff Dawson aka Jeffarama! has said. After consulting Write Out Loud regulars, the first Write Out Loud...

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News

'Some trace that stays while the great body remains below out of sight'

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Marge Saiser is a Nebraska poet about whose work I have said that no contemporary poet is better at writing about love. Here's a love poem from her new book, I Have Nothing to Say about Fire, from Bac...

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American Life in Poetry

‘(Mg,Fe)2SiO4’ by Rafael is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week

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The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘(Mg,Fe)2SiO4’ by Rafael. He has described the poem, which includes a reference to a gemstone called peridot, derived from the mineral olivine, as “basically...

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Poem of the Week

Spoken word star Matt Abbott is guest poet at Write Out Loud Marsden tonight

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Write Out Loud Marsden are starting 2017 with a bang, with leading spoken word artist Matt Abbott lined up as guest poet at Marsden library on Wednesday 18 January. Matt runs the spoken word label Nym...

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News

Welcome to Leicester, ed. by Emma Lee and Ambrose Musiyiwa, Dahlia

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This has to be one of the most joyful anthologies that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. In 2015 the remains of Richard III were reburied in Leicester cathedral after being discovered under a car park...

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Review

Trev Meaney and Steph Pike at Write Out Loud Sale tonight

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Trev Meaney and Steph Pike are the guest poets at Write Out Loud Sale at the Waterside arts centre, Sale on Tuesday 17 January. First time readers are especially welcome at this open mic poetry event....

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News

Deadline nears for £1,000 Plough prize

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Philip Gross will be judging the £1,000 Plough poetry competition. The deadline is 30 January 2017. More details

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Competitions

Deadline nears for £500 Teignmouth poetry festival competition

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Mario Petrucci will be judging the £500 Teignmouth poetry festival competition, with Rebecca Gethin adjudicating in the £100 local prize. The deadline is 31 January 2017. More details

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Competitions

Write Out Loud Woking at the New Inn tonight

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Write Out Loud Woking is back at the New Inn at Send, near Woking on Monday 16 January. Entry is free to this friendly and informal open mic poetry night, hosted by Greg Freeman and Rodney Wood. Arriv...

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News

Theresa Lola crowned national slam champion at Royal Albert Hall

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Theresa Lola is the new Hammer and Tongue national slam champion after triumphing in the two-day final at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday night. Theresa, a London-based, Nigerian British poet, was Hac...

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News

'She wants to feel 日本 (Japan)' by Randall Eckstein is Poem of the Week

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The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is 'She wants to feel 日本 (Japan)'  by Randall Eckstein, who has just joined Write Out Loud, and is a teacher in China. He explains the poem thus:  “In my youth,...

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Poem of the Week

Poets join worldwide protests by writers before Trump's inauguration

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Poets, writers and artists will gather in 32 American states on Sunday 15 January - and in London and many other cities worldwide - as part of Writers Resist, in protest at fears that democracy is bei...

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News

Humber reflections: Sean O'Brien on how city of culture has inspired poets

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Celebrated poet Sean O’Brien will launch the BBC’s coverage of Hull’s City of Culture year on Sunday 15 January on Radio 4 with a reflection on his native city, its waterscape and landscape, and how i...

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News

Teacher and pupil reunited after 40 years win poetry competition

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A former teacher and his ex-pupil who were reunited after a gap of 40 years have collaborated to produce a prize-winning collection of poetry. Gap Year, by Andy Blackford, pictured right, and John Fog...

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News

Poems for John Berger, Smokestack Books

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I’ll confess to having known very little about John Berger, apart from distant memories of his groundbreaking TV series on art, Ways of Seeing. This anthology of tributes to the art critic, essayist, ...

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Review

Write Out Loud Wigan at the Old Courts tonight

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Write Out Loud Wigan is inviting poets to “give us your verse on resolutions, your rhyme on absolutions, a stanza on retribution” on Thursday 12 January at the Old Courts, Wigan.  The free open mic ev...

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News

The poetry of age: Maggie Sawkins on working with dementia patients and carers

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A poetry anthology created from the words and stories of people with dementia and their carers will be launched at Ashcroft arts centre, in Fareham, Hampshire, on Friday 13 January. The Speak Out poet...

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News

Get ready to enter our milestone competition

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Later this year Write Out Loud will be running a poetry competition for the Milestones Society. It won’t open for entries until the spring, but those of you eager to burn off the Christmas mince pies ...

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News

'We pull an arm's length of the sail down over itself, then do this again'

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I'm fond of poems in which we see people working together, helping one another. I've never folded a sail, nor seen anybody fold one, but here I get to watch it happen, and feel it happen, too. Alan Fe...

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American Life in Poetry

Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

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Write Out Loud Stockport will be meeting at Stockport art gallery on Monday 8 January to share poems at this open-floor poetry night. Each month a collage poem is created from contributions, and you c...

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News

Guitar tango: poets invited to take part in music weekend

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Poets are being offered the chance to take part in a special event at a guitar weekend at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Poets who would like to read a poem of their own, either inspired by the guitar...

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News

'The carbon cycle' by Alex Smith is Write Out Loud Poem of the Week

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The first Write Out Loud Poem of the Week of 2017 is ‘The carbon cycle’ by Alex Smith, who describes himself on his profile page as an organic farmer, from Harleysville, Pennsylvania, in the US. ‘The ...

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Poem of the Week

Alice Oswald wins £5,000 Costa poetry prize

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Alice Oswald has won the £5,000 Costa poetry award with her seventh collection, Falling Awake, it was announced on Tuesday night. The collection is said to focus on life’s losing struggle with the gra...

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News

Niall Campbell to judge £500 Interpreter's House competition

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Niall Campbell will be judging the £500 Interpreter’s House competition. The deadline is 31 January 2017. More details

 

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Competitions

Deadline nears for £1,000 Magma prize

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Jane Draycott will be the main judge for the £1,000 Magma poetry prize of 11-50 lines. The deadline is 16 January. A panel of five judges will judge a separate £1,000 prize for a poem of up to 10 line...

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Competitions

Little Machine pen song for Hull and 'muddy old Humber' to mark City of Culture year

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The poetry to music group Little Machine have written a song for Hull to welcome in its City of Culture year in 2017. They performed ‘River Song’ by the group’s Steve Halliwell on BBC Radio 4’s The Wo...

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News

As in Judy: Rosie Garland, Flapjack

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In a neat twist, the collection’s cover design puts the poet’s name directly above the title, offering us Rosie Garland As in Judy. It might seem ironic, with five books of poetry already to her name ...

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Review

'What I want tonight is lipstick. As pure a red as I can find'

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There are times when a single word in a poem is so perfect a choice that it pops like a firecracker, and I'll let you guess which word did that for me. A hint: it's a modifier. The poem is by Anya Kru...

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American Life in Poetry

Gillian Allnutt wins the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

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Gillian Allnutt has been awarded the 2016 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. The medal is awarded for excellence in poetry, on the basis either of a body of work over several years, or for an outstanding ...

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News

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