Captain Kate Fox leads Loughborough to storming victory on Christmas University Challenge

Performance poet Kate Fox captained a team of alumni from Loughborough University to a resounding win over a team from the University of Central Lancashire on Christmas University Challenge

Afterwards she said on Twitter: “I had a shower so I didn’t have to watch me on University Challenge then came back in and shouted at myself on telly for guessing a question I knew I didn’t know. Thanks fo...

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News

David Constantine awarded Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

David Constantine is to be awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, Buckingham Palace has announced. It added that the Poetry Medal Committee recommended David Constantine as this year's recipient “on the basis of his 11 books of poetry, in particular his Collected Poems, published in 2004, which ...

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News

Taking a walk with Simon Armitage along the North Sea coast

Fancy taking a walk with the poet laureate? From the comfort of your armchair or sofa, of course. Simon Armitage will be your guide on the first of a series of BBC Winter Walks, on 6 January on BBC4. ...

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Ted Kooser steps down as editor after launching American Life in Poetry 15 years ago

In August this year, Ted Kooser announced that he would be retiring as editor of American Life in Poetry at the end of 2020. The award-winning poet, author, and editor Kwame Dawes will take over in Ja...

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American Life in Poetry

'The box knowing the route, the shoes badly lost and confused'

Time to clean out a closet and make room for whatever 2021 will bring us! I hope every one of you has a new year that’s much better and happier than the one we’re all shoving behind. This is the last ...

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American Life in Poetry

Simon Armitage is making a film about the pandemic

The poet laureate Simon Armitage is working with his long-time collaborator, the award-winning British filmmaker Brian Hill, on a documentary about the pandemic, an article in the Observer reveals.

...

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Roger McGough and Little Machine, Farnham, 2017

Roger McGough turns 80 next month. Yet the esteemed Liverpudlian remains the epitome of cool, a consummate performance poet, and should have been appointed laureate years ago. Why not have a poet that...

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We'll meet again

A year like no other included our poetry competition and anthology to aid the NHS

How to sum up a year like no other? It seemed to start innocuously enough. The usual events on the poetry calendar came and went in January and February – British-Trinidadian poet Roger Robinson won t...

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Looking back at 2020

What do open-mic organisers think about Zoom?

It was the day that lockdown was announced in mid-March. Sale Write Out Loud’s open-mic night was due to be held as usual at the Waterside arts centre in Sale in Greater Manchester the following night...

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From live nights to online events

Liz Berry to judge Wolverhampton literature festival competition on 'aspect of love'

Liz Berry will judge the £400 Wolverhampton Literature Festival poetry competition, which has the theme ‘aspect of love’. Poets are being asked to use the theme as a prompt to explore love in any of i...

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Competitions

'As the world gets ready to start all over again again'

We three at American Life in Poetry, Ted, Pat and Cameron, wish you a happy and wholesome 2020, and here’s a poem to celebrate our friendship with you and our 15th year of weekly poems. Warren Woessne...

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American Life in Poetry

Martin Luther King anniversary anthology, Newcastle, 2017

Fifty years ago – on 13 November 1967 – the civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King received an honorary doctorate in civil law from Newcastle University, the only university in the UK to so honou...

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We'll meet again

From The Family Album: Patrick Osada, East View

Patrick Osada’s seventh collection opens with a series of poems about his upbringing in Gloucester, with homely memories of a family butcher’s shop, weekday washes in a big tub, including that marvell...

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Review

Paul Muldoon wins £5,000 Michael Marks pamphlet award

Paul Muldoon has won the £5,000 Michael Marks award for poetry for his pamphlet Binge, it was announced on Monday night. Binge is published by The Lifeboat Press. The judges’ comments after it made th...

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News

Saying it in five words ...

Language is a magic bowl that can hold all we imagine. Here in five words, carefully chosen by Jennifer Hambrick of Ohio, are the front and back of the galaxy, acorns underfoot and stars high above, a...

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American Life in Poetry

Simon Armitage praises power of Wordsworth's poetry on BBC's Poetry Please

Simon Armitage has spoken of his high regard for William Wordsworth, and how the Romantic poet “pressed the reset button on poetry”, rescuing it “from something that was about to become a very elitist...

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Jay Bernard wins Young Writer of the Year award for 'Surge'

Poet Jay Bernard has been named winner of the 2020 Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year award for their collection Surge, an exploration of the 1981 New Cross fire, in which 13 ...

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News

Deadline nears for Roger McGough prize on theme of 'identity'

The £150 Arts Richmond Roger McGough poetry prize is open for entries on the theme of ‘identity’. The deadline is 18 December. More details

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Competitions

Staying Human: anthology edited by Neil Astley, Bloodaxe

Poetry has had one of its moments during this pandemic. It is generally agreed that more people have been writing it, reading it, turning to it. So it would seem that editor Neil Astley inadvertently ...

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Review

Poem for Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is unveiled

The Poetry Society unveiled this year’s poem dedicated to the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square at 6pm on Thursday 3 December. The poem is commissioned each year by the Poetry Society as part of its ...

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News

'When I battle, I insist I do it for real, that the battler doesn't go easy on me': Joy France on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live

Multi-faceted performance poet Joy France cut her teeth on stage at Write Out Loud open-mic nights in Wigan. After winning a succession of poetry slams, she appeared on Nationwide TV ads and even on p...

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Carol Ann Duffy and Little Machine, London, 2015

A packed Emanuel School hall in Battersea, the stage lit with flickering candles and draped with red roses, the Dark Rose for Christmas album artwork provided an atmospheric backdrop. A silver-grey wi...

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We'll meet again

'Not needing a drink or pill or puff of any pipe to know I’m alive'

James Crews, the author of this week’s poem, is the editor of a fine anthology from Green Writers Press called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, much needed in our troubled world. ...

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American Life in Poetry

Squiffy Gnu poetry group to launch anthology of 2020 work

News has reached us via Sarah L Dixon, aka the Quiet Compere, of a new anthology to be launched by a poetry group. The ‘Squiffy Gnu’ Facebook page was originally inspired by Jo Bell’s 52 poetry projec...

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News

Fight to save the poetry treasured by Uighur people suffering China's crackdown

An article in the Observer has drawn attention - as has another recent article in the New York Times, pictured - to the fact that Uighur poetry is now facing extinction as the Chinese government detai...

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News

'Together we ate that Finnish silence'

The following poem by Susanna Brougham appeared in the spring 2020 issue of Beloit Poetry Journal, one of our country’s successful older literary journals. This is as fine a poem about “the staff of l...

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American Life in Poetry

Foundation for poets of African descent launches showcase

A new group of black poets of African descent will be staging a showcase on Zoom on Friday 11 December. Obsidian Foundation is a foundation for black poets of African descent, who often face multiple ...

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News

Joy Hendry wins new Scottish Poetry Library award

The Scottish Poetry Library has launched a new literary prize, the Outstanding Contribution to Poetry in Scotland award. The first winner is Joy Hendry, editor of influential magazine Chapman and a po...

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News

The Estate Agent's Daughter: Rhian Edwards, Seren

This second full collection has been eagerly awaited after the success of Clueless Dogs (Seren, 2012) which won Rhian Edwards the 2013 Wales Book of the Year award and was also shortlisted for the For...

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Review

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