Listen and learn at spoken word festival in historic Wiltshire barn

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Come, listen, and learn this summer at a festival of spoken word in Wiltshire, over the weekend of 5-7 July. Messums Festival of the Spoken Word, at an arts centre inside a 13th century tithe barn, promises to be a special and atmospheric weekend, in content and setting.

The festival’s aim is to promote an understanding of how different techniques in spoken word can be put to use across a range...

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Events

Helen Mort to judge £1,000 Winchester poetry prize

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Helen Mort will be judging this year’s £1,000 Winchester poetry prize. The deadline is 31 July. More details

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Competitions

'May your twin thoughts spiral upward like leafy vines'

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I am often asked if I know of a good poem to be read at a wedding, and here's one by James Bertolino, from his new and selected poems, Ravenous Bliss. Bertolino lives in Washington state and I have be...

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American Life in Poetry

London Undercurrents: Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire, Holland Park Press

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London Undercurrents is the product of five years of in-depth research, part-funded by an Arts Council Grant, by two poets, Joolz Sparkes and Hilaire, into the long-forgotten histories of London’s uns...

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Review

Write Out Loud Woking at the Lightbox tonight

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It’s Write Out Loud Woking at the Lightbox café in Woking on Thursday 27 June. Two hours of open-mic poetry, starting at 8pm. Sign up from 7.30 for a reading slot. Hosted by Greg Freeman and Rodney Wo...

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Events

The Poem of the Week is 'Migration on a Bad Day' by Devon Brock

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This weeks Poem of the Week is 'Migration on a Bad Day' by Devon Brock. Though telling a simple tale, the poem works so well due to the almost 'beat' like quality of the writing alongside a quite deli...

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Writing poems in the sleep of reason

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I remember one of my uncles, a lifelong trades unionist and old-style Labour man. He was an interesting man; he completed his Open University degree when he was 80. He once told me that the cleverest ...

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

Alice Oswald is Oxford's first female professor of poetry

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Alice Oswald has been elected as the next Oxford University professor of poetry, it was announced today. She received 1,046 votes, followed by Andrew McMillan with 210, and Todd Swift with 58.

Her ...

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News

Flagging up Leamington's new poetry festival with open mics and local poets

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Festival director Mike Took is flying the flag for Leamington’s new poetry festival, which will take place from 5-7 July. The festival will see over 50 poets, most of whom are from the local area, cov...

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Events

Joy Harjo is first Native American US poet laureate

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Joy Harjo has been named as the first Native American poet laureate by the US Library of Congress. Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, will take over from Tracy K Smith, who has held the pos...

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News

Slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo wins Carnegie book award

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A Dominican-American slam poet has won the UK children’s books award, the Carnegie medal. Elizabeth Acevedo, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, was awarded the medal for her verse novel, The Poet X...

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News

'Their hooks sunk deep into the bare skin of a sweating back'

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I’m afraid that if I’d asked my grandparents what the past was like they’d say it was “hard,” and that would be it. But Megan Arlett is privileged to have a grandmother who knows how to enchant us wit...

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American Life in Poetry

Write Out Loud at Marsden library tonight

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Marsden Write Out Loud aims to celebrate Pride Month with a theme of Pride, Protest, and Polemic at its monthly open-floor poetry night at Marsden library, Peel Street, Marsden, on Wednesday 19 June a...

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Events

Posthumous collection by Leanne Bridgewater will aid animal protest campaigns

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A posthumous collection of poetry and art by innovative poet, artist and animal rights campaigner Leanne Bridgewater, who died earlier this year at the age of 29, has been published by Hesterlock Pres...

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News

Landings: Richard Williams, Dempsey & Windle

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It takes a brave poet to open a collection with two poems that both mention stationery. After all, it’s not at first glance the most poetic of subjects. But then, think of “so many words still to be u...

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Review

Stuart Buck is guest poet at Write Out Loud Sale at the Waterside tonight

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Write Out Loud regular Stuart Buck is the guest poet at Sale Write Out Loud at the Waterside arts centre, Sale, on Tuesday 18 June. Entry is £3 to this open-mic event, which starts at 7pm.  More detai...

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Events

'My Point is Circular' by Alexandra Parapadakis is Poem of the Week

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The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘My Point is Circular’ by Alexandra Parapadakis. The last line of her poem says: “Ask me what I mean!” So we did. Alexandra said that the poem “tries to comm...

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Poem of the Week

Yomi Sode, Anthony Joseph, and Hafsah Aneela Bashir awarded £15,000 Jerwood Fellowships

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Hafsah Aneela Bashir, Anthony Joseph and Yomi Sode have been chosen as Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellows for 2019-20. Each poet receives £15,000, and is given a year of critical support and mentoring aim...

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News

A villanelle for the cup that cheers: Julian Jordon's poem accompanies Refugee Week animation

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Refugee Week begins today, Monday 17 June – and Write Out Loud is playing its part. Write Out Loud’s editor-in-chief, Julian Jordon, pictued below, was asked to write a poem to accompany a short piece...

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News

My kind of poetry: Char March

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This will be the third, and for a time, the last of my northwords poetry posts. It comes with a kind of synergy or symmetry, in that while last week’s poet, David Underdown, travelled north from Manch...

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club tonight

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There’s open mic poetry at Bolton Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club on Sunday 16 June. Your hosts are Jeffarama! and Gordon Zola, and doors open at 7.30pm for 8pm start. Entry £1 plus raffle. Mo...

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Events

'Decide whose cry it is tonight, which girl to lift, to whisper or hum, which lullaby'

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Here’s a fine poem about a loving, attentive father, by Elise Hempel, who lives in Illinois. Notice how deftly she’s placed her rhymes so that we scarcely notice them as the words flow on. Ms Hempel’s...

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American Life in Poetry

Keeper of Whitman's flame: US poet George Wallace returns to north-west

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American performance poet George Wallace is returning for a four-venue tour of the north-west, with appearances in Bolton, Liverpool, Manchester and Cumbria. The visit, promoted by Bolton’s Live from ...

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Events

Listen up! Accent's on Yorkshire poets in dialect programme on t'radio

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A radio series looking at dialect poetry in different parts of England visits Yorkshire on Sunday. Dr Katie Edwards, who found herself mocked in academic circles for her broad South Yorkshire accent, ...

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News

Wigan Write Out Loud at the Old Courts tonight

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Wigan’s Write Out Loud long-running free open mic poetry night is at the Bailiff Bar at the Old Courts in Wigan on Thursday 13 June. The open mic starts at 8pm. More details and Map

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Events

New laureate plans environment award and hopes for national poetry centre

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The new poet laureate Simon Armitage has spoken of setting up an award for poets responding to the climate crisis, and even a national poetry centre. In a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian he a...

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News

'Each to his task in the quiet of the long familiar'

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When I was a nasty little kid I once made fun of a girl in my school because her father worked cutting up dead animals at a rendering plant.My mother sat me down and said: "Ted, all work is honourable...

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American Life in Poetry

The Poem of the Week is 'Scared of Spiders' by KJ Walker

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This weeks Poem of the Week is 'Scared of Spiders' by KJ Walker a beautifully rhythmic reminder that although he can 'cracks walnuts with his eyelids' and has 'got muscles in places I ain’t got places...

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Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

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Come and share your poems at Stockport Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery on Monday 10 June. Each month a collage poem is produced from readers’ contributions, and you can read May’s here. Entry ...

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Events

The poetry of science: new book links creativity and discoveries

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A new book that investigates the ways in which poetry has influenced the lives and works of six pioneering scientists has been written by an author who writes a weekly poem about science.

A Sonnet ...

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News

My kind of poetry: David Underdown

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Last week I decided not to comment much on the poems Bob Beagrie shared with us; I wanted to them to be heard, and work on the reader, for their music, the texture of the language. I’m just hoping tha...

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

Women of the north: Kate Fox to spin some yarns in Marsden

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Leading performance poet and Radio 4 regular Kate Fox is appearing at two venues on consecutive days in Marsden next month. On Friday 14 June she will be at Marsden Mechanics Hall performing Where The...

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Events

Mapping England and Wales with poetry - how you could be involved

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A project centred on place is inviting poets to add their poems to a new digital map of England and Wales. The organisers say Places of Poetry is open to all readers and writers, and aims to use creat...

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News

Wenlock's bookshop and poetry hub is forced to close

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In 2016 the-then poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, led a readings tour to support independent bookshops. Her itinerary included Wenlock Books, in the small town of Much Wenlock, Shropshire, which is no...

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News

Alan Prout's Leeds launch

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Marsden Write Out Loud regular Alan Prout has gone from open-micer to published poet in under two years, winning Half Moon Books’ anthology competition along the way. And on Saturday 8 June Half Moon ...

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Events

My kind of poetry: Bob Beagrie

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I like to toy with a notion that I came across years ago. I don’t know the source. I have a suspicion it could have been David Crystal; basically, it’s that if the accidents of history had taken a dif...

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The Great Fogginzo's Wider Web

The Poem of the Week is 'While the Blackbird Sings' by Dorothy Webb

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This week's Poem of the Week is 'While the Blackbird Sings' by Dorothy Webb, a whimsical tale of wildife and wonder.

The piece is cleverly constructed and while it appears slight and almost musical...

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Poem of the Week

'Unclaimed child' Lemn Sissay wins PEN Pinter prize

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Lemn Sissay has won the PEN Pinter prize, set up in memory of playwright Harold Pinter. Sissay, who is chancellor of the University of Manchester, was born to an Ethiopian mother in Lancashire in 1967...

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News

Jo Bell to judge £500 Stroud poetry prize

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Jo Bell will be judging the £500 Stroud Book festival poetry prize. The deadline is 22 September. More details

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Competitions

Family Likeness: Michael Curtis, Cultured Llama

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Michael Curtis grew up in Liverpool, attended Oxford and Sheffield universities, worked in library and cultural services and events management and now lives in Kent. His work has been published widely...

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Review

'A decision any mother might make upon guessing the intentions of the state'

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Austin Smith lives in rural Illinois and is an acute observer of the world at hand.This poem is from his book Flyover Country, published by Princeton University Press.

 

CAT MOVING KITTENS

by...

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American Life in Poetry

Many Skies Have Fallen: Maggie Sawkins, Wild Mouse Press

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This collection contains lyrical and evocative poems that were written as a response to the death of a young man who drowned in Ireland’s river Shannon. Janusz Jasicki was the partner of the daughter ...

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Review

All together now! Just hours left to enter Marsden the Poetry Village competition

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It’s make your mind up time for those of you still pondering your entry for the Marsden the Poetry Village competition on the theme of ‘Together’ – the deadline for competition entries is coming up fa...

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Competitions

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