City of Departures: Helen Tookey, Carcanet

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Helen Tookey teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Her debut collection, Missel-Child (Carcanet 2014), was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre prize for first full collection, and her current collection made the Forward prize shortlist this year.

If you write poetry or dream of writing poetry, City of Departures offers considerable inspiration. Its title suggests th...

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Review

Seamus Heaney biopic on BBC2 will feature family's memories

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A feature-length biopic detailing the life and works of the Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney will be shown on BBC2 on Saturday 30 November. The film, 'Seamus Heaney: The Music of What Happens', directed by Adam Low, will feature Heaney's wife and children as they reflect on his life and read s...

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News

Clive James, who turned to poetry to 'start saying goodbye', dies aged 80

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The acclaimed writer, broadcaster and poet Clive James has died after a long illness at the age of 80. He won many plaudits for his TV programmes and criticism over the years. But after his terminal d...

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News

Write Out Loud Woking at the Lightbox tonight

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Write Out Loud Woking is at the Lightbox art gallery in Woking on Thursday 28 November for another night of open-mic poetry. Sign up from 7.30pm for the 8pm start. Your hosts are Greg Freeman and Rodn...

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Events

Popping up at Euston: a flashback to Write Out Loud poetry-art collaboration at Stockport

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A poetry-art collaboration involving Stockport Write Out Loud member poet Martin Elder and artist Mark Sheeky that was part of an exhibition at Stockport art gallery earlier this year is popping up at...

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News

Novel by Twitter poet Brian Bilston makes Costa shortlist

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A comic novel by Brian Bilston, who is variously known as the “poet laureate” or “Banksy” of Twitter,  is on the first novel shortlist in the Costa book awards. Diary of a Somebody tells of a 45-year-...

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News

George the Poet: 'Why I turned down an MBE'

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The spoken word artist George the Poet has said he turned the offer an MBE earlier this year because of the “pure evil” perpetrated by the British empire.

He made the revelation in the final episod...

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News

'Heading home to the sound of the last few trout splashing'

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A wise and loving father fishing with his two sons. Norman Maclean wrote about a time like that in his book A River Runs Through It, and here's a poem by Todd Davis that catches much the same feeling ...

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American Life in Poetry

Sue Riley wins £5,000 Ginkgo prize for eco-poetry

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Sue Riley has won the £5,000 Ginkgo prize for eco-poetry with her poem ‘A Polar Bear in Norilsk’. Second was Anne McDonnell (‘Once There Were Fish’), and third was Rosamund Taylor (‘Lammergeier’). The...

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News

Inspirational (1)

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I was inspired to write this post by another blog post about … inspiration. As is so often at the moment, it was the poet Julie Mellor. You really should follow her blog. Here’s the link.  I want to q...

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

Imtiaz Dharker to become chancellor of Newcastle University

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The poet Imtiaz Dharker is to become chancellor of Newcastle University. Dharker is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014.

The poet,...

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News

Poet laureate launches £5,000 prize for best collection of environment poems

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The poet laurate, Simon Armitage, has launched a new prize for environmentally themed poetry. The Laurel prize will go to the best collection of poems “with nature and the environment at their heart”,...

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News

Benjamin Zephaniah and Michael Symmons Roberts at Lichfield cathedral poetry festival

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Benjamin Zephaniah and Michael Symmons Roberts are the headline poets at Lichfield cathedral’s The Word poetry festival, which is taking place from Sunday 24 November to Thursday 28 November. Themes a...

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Events

Recovery Songs: Ralph Dartford, Valley Press

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The cover of this confessional poetry collection has the poet, head bowed, holding a mic. Exposed. Recovery Songs by Ralph Dartford is not an easy read; it is not intended to be.

In an afterword to...

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Review

'You are sedimentary, rock-solid cousin earth'

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Minnesota has many fine writers, gathered together by a deep and trusting affection for one another. Freya Manfred has been an important part of that community for her entire life, having been brought...

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American Life in Poetry

Poetry in Armitage country: Write Out Loud at Marsden library tonight

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Exciting news for the West Yorkshire village of Marsden – poet laureate Simon Armitage’s next collection, due next year, will be all about the village where he grew up. Meanwhile you can experience th...

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Events

Celebrating local publisher's anthology at Sale Write Out Loud tonight

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Local publisher Hidden Voice’s first anthology, a collaboration of authors from minority groups, will be celebrated at Sale Write Out Loud on Tuesday 19 November at the Waterside arts centre, Sale. Th...

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Events

Momentary Turmoil: Robin Thomas, Cinnamon Press

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Robin Thomas writes poems of deceptive simplicity and often vivid visual imagery. He is inspired by paintings from the Renaissance, incidents in war and at sea, jazz musicians, railways and family rel...

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Review

'Get on a website called Write Out Loud': Tony Walsh's advice to would-be poets

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Top performance poet Tony Walsh has given Write Out Loud’s Gig Guide a ringing endorsement in a wide-ranging and inspirational radio discussion with fellow northern performer, actor Julie Hesmondhalgh...

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News

'I like remembering my brother when he was young, decades before anything went wrong'

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I highly recommend a new anthology called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, edited by James Crews and published by Green Writers Press in Brattleboro, Vermont. Here's just one of t...

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American Life in Poetry

Write Out Loud Wigan at the Old Courts tonight

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It’s Write Out Loud Wigan on Thursday November 14 at the Holding Cell of the Bailiff Bar, in the Old Courts arts centre, Crawford Street, Wigan. This free, long-running open-mic poetry night begins at...

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Events

Poetry in the woods provides lasting WW1 memorial

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It has almost become a cliché, you might think, WW1 and poetry. Yet an initiative in West Yorkshire’s Colne Valley has come up with a fresh take on that link with a durable memorial to remind future g...

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Events

Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

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Stockport Write Out Loud meets at Stockport art gallery on Monday 11 November to share poems at this open-floor night. Each month a collage poem is put together from contributions, and you can read Oc...

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Events

Jane Draycott to judge Edward Thomas Fellowship competition

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The deadline is 18 January 2020 for the Edward Thomas Fellowship poetry competition, judged by Jane Draycott. The first prize is £150. More details  

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Competitions

The forgotten ones

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The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Traditionally the world goes silent. The traffic stops. There may be salvos from field guns. Traditionally, the great and the good stand so...

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

Poet laureate plans 10-year tour of nation's libraries and new Marsden collection

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The poet laureate, Simon Armitage, has announced a 10-year tour of the UK’s libraries, starting in 2020 with libraries beginning with the letter A or B. Next year he will also be launching a new colle...

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News

Live Canon perform war poetry on Remembrance Sunday

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Live Canon Ensemble will be performing several centuries of war poetry on Remembrance Sunday 10 November at 4.30pm at the Boulevard theatre in Soho, London. The performance will feature well-known poe...

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Events

'The sidewalk shaded by cranked-out awnings: butchers, bakeries, shoe repair shops'

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We've published several poems by Washington DC poet Judith Harris, who writes beautifully about her Jewish heritage. Bruno Bettelheim, writing about fairy tales, remarked on the closeness of the relat...

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American Life in Poetry

The Blue Tree: Stephen Boyce, Indigo Dreams

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Stephen Boyce is an adviser to heritage and arts bodies, a prize-winning poet and the author of two previous collections, Desire Lines (Arrowhead 2010) and The Sisyphus Dog (Worple 2014) and two poetr...

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Review

Notes from a small island (3)

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We’ll back home by the time you read this; still, I’m enjoying myself too much to stop. About five years ago, Effie’s daughters moved back to Skye, and the holiday cottage was needed as a family home....

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

Free on Friday ... readings and performances at Poetry in Aldeburgh festival

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There will be 20 workshops and 40 events at Poetry in Aldeburgh, a weekend festival of poetry, story and art by the sea with 100 poets, artists, music makers at venues around the town. It’s from 8-10 ...

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Events

Carrie Etter to judge £1,000 Kent & Sussex poetry competition

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Carrie Etter will be judging the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society’s £1,000 poetry competition. The deadline is 31 January 2020. More details

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Competitions

Last chance to make your mark on the Places of Poetry map

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A poetry project that has allowed poets to pin more than 7,500 poems to a digital map of England and Wales is closing to new poems very soon. After that you will still be able to look at the Places of...

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News

Painting the Poets: artist Claire Eastgate talks about portraits project

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Artist Claire Eastgate will be talking about her Painting the Poets project at a launch event at Kings Place, York Way, London on Wednesday 6 November. Her project involves a series of portraits of co...

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Events

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