Poet laureate outlines plans for National Poetry Centre in Leeds

The poet laureate Simon Armitage has laid out his plans for a National Poetry Centre in Leeds. He intends it to be a public space with an extensive poetry collection, several rehearsal and performances spaces, and a cafe, where literary events can be held. It is supported by Leeds city council, the University of Leeds and Leeds 2023 – a year-long celebration of arts and culture in the city. Armita...

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News

Stephanie Norgate to judge £250 Binsted prize

Stephanie Norgate will be judging the South Downs Poetry Festival Competition’s £250 Binsted prize. In addition the South Downs Young Poets Prize (£50) will be awarded to the best poem on any theme by a poet aged 16-30 and also resident or studying in Hampshire, West or East Sussex. The deadline is ...

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Competitions

Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God: Tony Hoagland, Bloodaxe

The American poet Tony Hoagland died in 2018 aged 64. This Bloodaxe collection can serve as an introduction for those previously unaware of him, and should leave them wanting to read more of his work....

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Review

Paul McGrane to judge Brian Dempsey Memorial competition

Paul McGrane of the Poetry Society will be judging the Brian Dempsey Memorial competition, with prizes for a pamphlet, and for a single poem. It is organised by publishers Dempsey & Windle, and the de...

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Competitions

Write Out Loud Woking at the Lightbox tonight

Write Out Loud Woking returns to the Lightbox art gallery in Woking on Thursday 27 February. Sign up from 7.30pm for the 8pm start for this open-mic poetry event hosted by Greg Freeman and Rodney Wood...

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Events

'Our souls have been longing to go home ... the body doesn't agree'

Robert Bly is one of the last living major American poets of his generation, and WW Norton recently published his Collected Poems. I and many other poets of the central states owe Bly, who grew up on ...

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American Life in Poetry

No holds barred as performance poet Joy France fights her corner in 'battle rap'

She started out by making a nervous debut a number of years ago on the open-mic stage at Write Out Loud Wigan. After establishing a reputation as a warm and popular performance poet, she appeared in N...

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News

Write Out Loud at Marsden library tonight

Marsden Write Out Loud open-floor poetry group will be meeting at Marsden library, Peel Street, on Wednesday 19 February at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome: read your own poems, someone else's or just com...

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Events

Anthology of Prose Poetry: eds. Anne Caldwell, Oz Hardwick, Valley Press

Despite what it says on the back cover, prose poetry is hardly at the cutting edge of contemporary writing. As the editors point out in their helpful introduction, it has a history that goes back to t...

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Review

Poet laureate drawn back to home village with book of poems about Marsden

The poet laureate Simon Armitage is next month publishing a new collection of poems focused on Marsden in West Yorkshire – the Pennine village where he grew up. Magnetic Field brings together Armitage...

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News

Sale Write Out Loud at the Waterside tonight

Randall Horton is the guest poet at Sale Write Out Loud at the Waterside arts centre, Sale, on Tuesday 18 February. Sign up from 7.30pm for the open mic. It starts at 8pm, and entry is £3. More detail...

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Events

'Somewhere the night had accommodated him'

This week’s poem is one of my favourites and I can’t explain why in the 15 years I’ve been writing this column I’ve neglected until now to share it with you. Wendell Berry is one of our country’s fine...

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American Life in Poetry

Free Verse poetry book and magazine fair returns to London's Conway Hall

Free Verse, the poetry book and magazine fair, returns on Saturday 22 February, and to its traditional location in London’s Conway Hall. The book fair is now organised by the Poetry Society, and in ad...

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Events

Deadline nears to enter Geoff Stevens collection prize

The deadline is 29 February to enter the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, to have a poetry collection published by Indigo Dreams. There are two winners each year. You can enter up to three times, ...

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Competitions

‘As a mother, it's my job to tell these stories’: Louise Fazackerley

Wigan performance poet and BBC New Voices winner Louise Fazackerley has broken new ground with her poetry collection The Lolitas. Its subject matter includes sexual abuse and underage grooming, and it...

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Interview

Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club tonight

It’s Bolton Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club on Sunday 16 February, with hosts Jeffarama! and Gordon Zola. Doors open at 7.30pm for this open-mic poetry event, and entry is £1 plus raffle. It s...

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Events

'All day it continues, each kindness reaching toward another'

Tolstoy said, "Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness." I found this poem by Dorianne Laux in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness P...

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American Life in Poetry

'Your hand a quick tremble in brief illumination'

This is the sixth of Marge Saiser's poems to appear in my column, and I've written elsewhere how much I admire her work. This poem is typical of her clear, accessible poetry of close observation. I am...

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American Life in Poetry

As anniversary nears, do Daffodils fans wander lonely these days?

This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth – and a host of events are planned to mark it, including talks, poetry readings, and even a family reunion when descendants of ...

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