Poets around the country to celebrate and defend women's rights

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A new group of poets around the country will be celebrating feminism and women’s rights with poetry and live arts in London, Manchester, Brighton, Oxford, Cumbria, and Bristol.

The Persisters are organising events of “artistic activism and excellence, fund-raising and spirit-raising” called Holding the Line, inspired by the recent women’s marches. The group says it is concerned about the “turni...

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News

Roy Fisher, modernist poet with a love of jazz, dies aged 86

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The “late modernist” poet Roy Fisher has died aged 86, after a short illness. He was born in Handsworth, Birmingham, and after studying English at Birmingham University, taught in schools and colleges, and went on to lecture in American Studies at Keele University from 1971 until his retirement in 1...

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News

Best spoken word performer, top poetry night? It's deadline day on Saboteur award nominations

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Nominations are open for the 2017 Saboteur indie lit awards, organised by Sabotage Reviews. They include such categories as best poetry pamphlet, best spoken word performer, best spoken word regular n...

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News

'I like to make people smile': Win Saha, still performing her poetry aged 93

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Wolverhampton-based poet Win Saha is still writing and performing at the age of 93. In an interview with Emma Purshouse she tells of meeting Mae West and Paul Robeson, some poetry advice she received ...

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Interview

Dodo Modern Poets find a new location on Dylan heritage trail

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A number of long-established poetry nights and groups found themselves temporarily homeless when the Poetry Society’s Poetry Café in London closed its doors for refurbishment last summer. Most of them...

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Tales from the venues

Lift-off for anthology inspired by trail-blazing women

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Most if not all of us have had that dream of flying occasionally – of looking down on the world from above. On Wednesday night a poetry anthology that tries imaginatively to capture the many aspects o...

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Review

'Five daughters in the slant light on the porch'

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A front porch is very much like a stage, and this poem by Marilyn Nelson is like watching a little play. The poet, who has published books of poetry and prose for young and old alike, lives in Connect...

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American Life in Poetry

'Driving through Grimstone Low' by Kevin is Write Out Loud Poem of the Week

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The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Driving through Grimstone Low’ by Kevin. It’s a narrative poem of epic proportions involving a tough Yorkshire village, a family called the Slugshaws, a car...

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Poem of the Week

Play by Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish celebrates women's football pioneers

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A play about two pioneers of women’s football that has been written by performance poets Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish is beginning a national tour. Offisde focuses on the stories of two female fo...

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News

Nobel prize poet Sir Derek Walcott dies aged 87

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The Nobel prizewinning Caribbean poet and playwright, Sir Derek Walcott, has died at his home in St Lucia aged 87. He was professor of poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013. His works in...

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News

The singing detectives: Project Adorno trace back-story of controversial TV playwright

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Who are Project Adorno? They are a quirky duo employing spoken word and song, electronic music backing, and occasional acoustic guitar, m’lud. The latest show compiled by spoken word maestro Russell T...

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Review

Day of events at Steep to mark Edward Thomas centenary

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The centenary of the death of Edward Thomas, who was killed on 9 April 1917 at the battle of Arras, will be marked on Sunday 9 April 2017 by organisers of South Downs poetry festival with a series of ...

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News

Deadline nears for £600 Bristol poetry prize

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Liz Berry will be judging the £600 Bristol poetry prize, organised by the Poetry Can. The deadline is 31 March. More details

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Competitions

Outer Hebrides to Offa's Dyke: 'Best of British' anthology to be launched

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An anthology of poems about different aspects of Britain, from its rolling hills to its people to its motorways, will be launched on 1 April in Tunbridge Wells by publishers Paper Swans Press.

Topi...

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News

Write Out Loud Sale at the Waterside tonight

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Kate Garrett and Amy Kinsman are the guest poets at Write Out Loud Sale at the Waterside arts centre, Sale, on Tuesday 21 March – World Poetry Day! Entry is £3 to this open mic-poetry night, which sta...

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News

'He was a calm man, a useful attribute for sending young men to their deaths'

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Nearly all of us have a story about once brushing up against somebody famous. On their honeymoon my father and mother went to New York City where they rode up in a hotel elevator with the famous strip...

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American Life in Poetry

Changes: Patrick B Osada, Dempsey & Windle

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Patrick Osada’s fifth collection is divided into three sections, titled Seasonal, At a Time of Unrest, and Keepsake. The first section celebrates nature with traditional rhyme and rhythm, which feels ...

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Review

Rescheduled Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

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Stockport Write Out Loud's March meeting, originally fixed for Monday 13 March at Stockport art gallery, was switched to Monday 20 March because of the 24-hour Northern rail strike. Each month group m...

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News

Write Out Loud Woking at the New Inn tonight

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Write Out Loud Woking is at the New Inn at Send, near Woking, on Monday 20 March for another night of open-mic poetry hosted by Greg Freeman and Rodney Wood. Entry is free. Sign up from 7.30pm for 8pm...

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News

Brian Patten to judge Write Out Loud's Milestones poetry competition

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Legendary Liverpool poet Brian Patten will be judging the forthcoming Milestones poetry competition, run by Write Out Loud on behalf of the Milestone Society. Details of how to enter the competition –...

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News

Pause and applause at Speaking Out Midlands in Cannock

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It’s always a challenge to build an audience for a new night. Hats off to Charlotte Postings, pictured, for finding a diverse range of poets and an audience who were more than happy to watch  them at ...

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Tales from the venues

'Man' by Dyphrent is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week

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The Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Man’ by Dyprhent. It’s a poem with a powerful beat, and begins: “Man / Man like stone / Man like mountain / Man like blood and bone …” In her Q&A interview Dyph...

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Poem of the Week

Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club tonight

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Bolton’s Write Out Loud open mic night is now back in its traditional slot of third Sunday in the month, and will be meeting on Sunday 19 March at Bolton Socialist Club. It’s hosted by Jeffarama! and ...

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News

Salena Godden and Hollie McNish on Ted Hughes award shortlist

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Spoken word stars Hollie McNish and Salena Godden are on the shortlist for this year’s Ted Hughes award for new work in poetry, along with Jay Bernard, Will Eaves, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Harry Man, and...

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News

Deadline nears for £250 Otley poetry prize

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Matthew Hedley Stoppard, the town poet of Otley in West Yorkshire, will be judging the £250 Otley poetry prize. The deadline is 20 March. More details

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Competitions

The pleasure principle at Write Out Loud Marsden tonight

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Lenten abstinence may be the order of the day for some but on Wednesday 15 March Write Out Loud Marsden is inviting poets to share poems on the theme of “debauchery, bad habits and guilty pleasures”. ...

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News

'The challenge is to throw everything we've got at it' - Jimmy Andrex

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Wakefield’s Jimmy Andrex, who performs his poetry to the sound of a driving electonica beat, has a new album out. In an interview, he talks to Greg Freeman about Northern Beat Poetry, avoiding “obviou...

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Interview

'The cranes, the grass, they tell us: this can go on for millions of years'

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Charles Peek is a Nebraska poet who lives near that section of the Platte river where early each year hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes pause in their migration to nourish themselves for the lo...

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American Life in Poetry

Work in 'real world' before becoming a full-time poet, urges Wendy Cope

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People should do some work in the “real world” before embarking on a career in poetry. That is the advice of Wendy Cope, who was a primary school teacher and also worked for the Inner London Eduction ...

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Review

'Drinking where the river bed is dry' by John Marks is Poem of the Week

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The Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Drinking where the river bed is dry’ by John Marks. It’s a poem about the companionship of man and dog, and ageing. John Marks has published two collections of ...

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Poem of the Week

Malika Booker to judge £700 Battered Moons poetry competition

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Malika Booker will be judging the £700 Battered Moons poetry competition. The deadline is 30 June. More details

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Competitions

Write Out Loud Wigan at the Old Courts tonight

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Never mind fake news, here’s real poetry! It’s Write Out Loud Wigan at the Old Courts in Wigan on Thursday  9 March. Entry is free to this long-running, rollicking and raucous open mic night, and it s...

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News

Saying it with poetry on a day of celebration

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Happy international women’s day! From Newcastle to Southend to Falmouth, there are poetry events taking place to celebrate it. In Newcastle there’s an evening of reading and discussion of poetry by wo...

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News

The dark side of Luke Wright's Dartford tunnel vision

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I first heard Luke Wright deliver ‘Essex Lion’ at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, a year after he’d written it. Its tale of credulous Clacton campers, desperate to believe in something, and angry at bei...

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Review

Chuang Tse's Caterpillar: Dave Morgan, Flapjack

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Dave Morgan was, with Julian Jordon, co-founder of Write Out Loud in its Bolton beginnings. In more recent years as a north-west community arts organiser he has been one of the driving forces behind t...

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Review

Australian Stolen Generations poet wins $165,000 US prize

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An Indigenous Australian poet has won a US literary prize worth $165,000 (£134,000). Ali Cobby Eckermann had been nominated for the Windham-Campbell prize, which is administered by Yale University. Ec...

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News

'Brenda wasn't listening to a word, wrapped up in lonely teardrops shed for Greg'

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Here's a poem by John Stanizzi, who lives in Connecticut, in which we get a good look inside middle-school culture in the 'sixties. But is it really any different today? This poet's most recent book i...

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American Life in Poetry

Max Wallis is gay social network's first poet in residence

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The gay social networking app Grindr has appointed its first poet in residence. Max Wallis, who used to blog his poems regularly on Write Out Loud, will be making a video poem each month.

Writing i...

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News

'In Budapest' by Hazel Ettridge is Write Out Loud Poem of the Week

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‘In Budapest’ by Hazel Ettridge is Write Out Loud’s Poem of the Week. Hazel says that it was written in “a seedy hotel room” in the Hungarian capital, “having returned from an evening exploring this e...

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Poem of the Week

Having the last laugh: comics beat poets in festival bout of Stand Up and Slam!

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“It’s like, it’s like, I don’t know what it’s like, I’m not allowed to use similes any more,” lamented team captain Dan Simpson, pictured, on a night when his band of poets lost 2-3 to a team of comic...

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Review

'It's depressing': Luke Wright's 'old-fashioned rant' about spoken word on TV ads

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Leading performance poet Luke Wright has sounded a sceptical note about poetry on TV adverts such as the recent Nationwide building society campaign, saying it is “depressing” to see it being used in ...

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News

Hitting the heights: 60 poets lined up for five-day Stanza festival at St Andrews

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Stanza, one of the UK’s biggest poetry festivals, begins on Wednesday 1 March. The two themes at Stanza 2017 at St Andrews will be the Heights of Poetry, celebrating hills and mountains, and On the Ro...

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News

Crowdfunder campaign to publish anthology by deaf and disabled poets

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A Crowdfunder campaign to fund an anthology of poetry and essays by D/deaf and disabled poets and writers is three-quarters towards its £2,500 target, with just over two weeks left. Nine Arches Press ...

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News

Penguin to publish Adrian Mole's collected poetry

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Penguin is publishing The Collected Poems by Adrian Mole - in the character's own imprint Mole Press - to celebrate the 50th birthday of Sue Townsend's creation, the Bookseller has reported.

The bo...

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News

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