'A burnt matchbox in the sky': Ben Okri's angry poem about Grenfell Tower

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Novelist and poet Ben Okri has written a powerful, angry poem about the victims of Grenfell Tower, who died when their tower block in Kensington was engulfed in flames on 14 June. The blaze, which killed at least 79 people – the death toll is expected to rise further - was spread by unsafe cladding, and has led to 95 buildings across the country being found to be at similar risk.

Okri’s poem wa...

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'Ye are many - they are few!' Jeremy Corbyn quotes Shelley at Glastonbury

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn enlisted the power of poetry when he delivered a rousing speech to thousands at Glastonbury music festival at the weekend. Concluding his speech on the main Pyramid stage by quoting Shelley, “one of my favourite poets”, he said: “I’m inspired by many poets, and by many pe...

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Tony Walsh's Manchester poem 'This is The Place' is released as a single

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Tony Walsh’s poem ‘This is The Place’, which went global after he read it at the vigil for the Manchester Arena bombing victims, has been released as a single.  

The Manchester Evening News reports...

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Derek Walcott museum in St Lucia closes after budget cut and tourism row

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A museum in St Lucia on the site of the boyhood home of the Nobel prize-winning poet and playwright Derek Walcott has closed amid a funding shortfall that has been linked to disputes over  tourism dev...

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Jackie Hagan, Raymond Antrobus, and Jane Commane win £15,000 poetry awards

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Poets Jackie Hagan, Raymond Antrobus, and Jane Commane have each been awarded £15,000 inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships, in a collaboration between the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Art...

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Remember that game: football anthology launched in aid of Alzheimer Scotland project

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An anthology of football poetry featuring more than 100 poems in aid of Alzheimer Scotland’s Football Memories project has been launched at the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park.

Contributi...

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Tony Walsh gives poetic verdict on election result alongside Carol Ann Duffy

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It began when Tony Walsh read his poem about Manchester, ‘This is The Place’, at the vigil for the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing. Tony’s reading went round the world. He was asked...

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Tracy K Smith is new US poet laureate

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Tracy K Smith is the new poet laureate of the United States, it has been announced.  The poet laureate - Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry of the United States is the full title - is appointed by the...

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Northern Irish poets Michael Longley and Sinead Morrissey on Forward list

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Michael Longley, who recently won the PEN Pinter prize, is one of five poets shortlisted for the £10,000 Forward prize for best collection, it was announced on Monday. At 77, Longley is the oldest of ...

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It's a rap! Write Out Loud's theme is movies tonight at Marsden library

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Write Out Loud Marsden is switching nights again – and this month it will be held on Thursday 15 June at Marsden library, in Marsden Mechanics Hall. The theme is “motion pictures”, inspired by the fac...

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Poet and novelist Helen Dunmore dies aged 64

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The poet, novelist and children’s author Helen Dunmore has died at the age of 64. She had been suffering from cancer.  Her poetry publisher Bloodaxe said that “we are immensely saddened by the news”.

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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 12 June to share their poetry. Every month a collage poem is created from members’ contributions. You can read Ma...

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Write Out Loud Woking at the New Inn tonight

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Write Out Loud Woking will be at the New Inn, Send, near Woking on Monday 12 April for another night of free, open-mic poetry. Your hosts are Rodney Wood and Greg Freeman. Sign up to read from 7.30pm ...

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Jess Green and her affirmation of nightlife on London's evening of terror

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It was when the train was leaving Waterloo that news of the London Bridge terror attacks started appearing on people’s mobiles. I had to leave early to catch the last train home after attending Tubthu...

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London's Poetry Cafe reopening after nine-month refit

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One of London’s most popular poetry venues, the Poetry Cafe, is reopening after being closed for nine months for a refit. The cafe is run by the Poetry Society, whose offices are above it in Betterton...

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Write Out Loud Wigan at the Old Courts tonight

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Gather ye at Write Out Loud Wigan on Thursday 8 June at the Old Courts for another session of free, free-range, open mic poetry. It starts at 8.30pm. More details and Map

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Saboteur award winner Maria Ferguson to launch spoken word night in Lincoln

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Saboteur award winner Maria Ferguson will be performing her show Fat Girls Don’t Dance at the launch of a new monthly spoken word night in Lincoln on Thursday 15 June.

The WORD theatre project at L...

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Michael Longley wins PEN Pinter prize

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The Northern Ireland poet Michael Longley has been named winner of this year’s PEN Pinter prize.  Longley is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for P...

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Tony Walsh reads 'This is The Place' at Ariana Grande concert for Manchester bombing victims

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Leading performance poet Tony Walsh will be reading his world-famous poem about Manchester, ‘This is The Place’, which he delivered at the vigil for the Manchester Arena bomb victims, at a remembrance...

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Yes, there's no apostrophe - Walsall's new poetry night

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Jonny Fluffypunk will be headlining a new spoken word night at the Pretty Bricks pub in Walsall on Sunday 4 June at 7pm. Yes, We Cant – no, the apostrophe’s not missing - is organised by the Poets, Pr...

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National Poetry Day and BBC team up with OED to unearth local words for poems

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National Poetry Day and the BBC are joining forces to seek out and celebrate the nation’s great local words in 12 specially commissioned poems – one for each of the 12 BBC regions in England.

Natio...

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Spreading the word: launch of anthology by D/deaf and disabled poets

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An anthology of poetry, essays and photographs - Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back - that was backed by a Crowdfunder appeal will be launched at Birmingham City University on S...

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