Who will be this year's best spoken word performer? Deadline nears for first round of Saboteur awards voting

Voting has opened in the first stage of the annual Saboteur awards, run by Sabotage Reviews, with nominations invited for such categories as best spoken word performer, best magazine, best literary festival, best poetry pamphlet, best spoken word regular night, best spoken word show, most innovative publisher, best reviewer of literature, best collaborative work, best anthology, and more.

The v...

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'Each time, the found world surprises - that is its nature'

Jane Hirshfield, who lives in California, is one of our country's finest poets. I found this beautiful meditation in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by Grayson Books of West Hartford, CT. Ms. Hirshfield's most recent book of poetry is the newly-published Ledger: Poem...

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American Life in Poetry

Susannah Hart wins £5,000 National Poetry Competition

Susannah Hart has won this year’s Poetry Society’s £5,000 National Poetry Competition with her poem ‘Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’, it was announced tonight. Told in a single l...

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Deborah Harvey to judge Beach Hut coastal writing competition

Deborah Harvey is judging a ‘coastal writing for wellness’ writing competition run by The Beach Hut website. Poems or flash fiction should be inspired by the coast, nature and all it encompasses. The ...

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Competitions

Penn Fields: Neil Leadbeater, Littoral Press

This collection contains a number of poems about what you might call unfashionable subjects – Midlands industrialism, a flight of locks through Wolverhampton, other kinds of locks at a museum, half-in...

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Review

Sally Spedding to judge £500 Welsh Poetry Competition

Sally Spedding will be judging the £500 Welsh poetry competition. The deadline is 31 May. More details

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Competitions

Glyn Maxwell to judge £600 Ware poetry competition

Glyn Maxwell will be judging the £600 Ware poetry competition. The deadline is 30 April. More details

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Competitions

The latest online event - a two-week, Stay-at-Home! festival

As the momentum of online events increases, with virtual open-mic nights springing up – see our review of one - a new, two-week online literature festival begins today, Friday 27 March, and goes on un...

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Events

Arts Council England prepares £160m emergency funding package

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced that it is making £160 million of emergency funding available during the coronavirus crisis to “those organisations and individuals who will need it during thi...

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Carol Ann Duffy at Manchester literature festival, 2015

An Evening with Carol Duffy at the Manchester literature festival was billed as the launch of the poet laureate’s first collected poems, but there was a slight hitch – no book. The German printer has ...

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We'll meet again

Sources of creativity: interviewer Andy N looks back at five years of podcasts

Poet and writer Andy N last week took part as a featured guest with his partner Amanda Steel in a virtual poetry open-mic night at Sale Write Out Loud. The technology didn’t phase him, since he has be...

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Nice coving, some glitches, but no swear words: Big Poetry Goes Viral unleashes locked-down poets

First, there was a question about swear words. Robert Garnham, Devon-based performance poet and MC of the Facebook group Big Poetry Goes Viral, directed the poet to the guidelines: “Just a few ground ...

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Sale Write Out Loud's virtual poetry night points the way forward

Open-mic poetry is adapting and reorganising as we all face up to the implications of the coronavirus crisis. Organisers at Sale Write Out Loud – forced to cancel their live night at the Waterside art...

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'Though I am inclined to share, I know that opening the window will change the world'

Karen Head lives in Georgia, and possums seem to live everywhere. You may drive past a dead one on a roadside somewhere today. Here's a poem in which the poet chooses to keep a safe distance from wild...

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American Life in Poetry

Laureate's 'Lockdown' poem on World Poetry Day refers to plague village

The poet laureate Simon Armitage has joined hundreds of other poets on Write Out Loud and on other social media in writing about the coronavirus pandemic. In ‘Lockdown’, a poem published today in The ...

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Linton Kwesi Johnson and Hollie McNish in Liverpool, 2016

Saturday night saw me taking the train into Liverpool to see one of my all-time heroes – the legendary Linton Kwesi Johnson. Even better, he was being supported by one of my more recent all-time heroe...

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We'll meet again

It's goodbye to poetry out loud for a while - and hello to online poetry initiatives

The poetry scene is coming to terms with the immediate effects and the implications of stark government advice to “avoid non-essential contact with others”, which will mean the cancellation of most if...

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News

'A convenience store with a bike stand, and three smoke-drenched taverns'

I’ve mentioned the anthology, Local News: Poetry About Small Towns from MWPH Books, PO Box 8, in Fairwater, Wisconsin. Here’s one of the many poems I’ve enjoyed, by Scott Wiggerman, who lives in New M...

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American Life in Poetry

Crawling Out and Falling Up: Dónall Dempsey, Vole Books

Dónall Dempsey’s exuberant personality and imagination unfold throughout his latest collection. His poetry is inspired not just by romantic views or existential themes; clocks, baking, songs, animals,...

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Review

Jacqueline Saphra to judge £600 Ver Poets competition

Jacqueline Saphra will be judging the £600 Ver Poets competition. The deadline is 30 April. More details

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Competitions

Doing the Rounds: Audrey Ardern-Jones, Indigo Dreams

The title of this debut collection refers in one sense to the poet’s career as a nurse specialising in cancer genetics. However, the cover of the book portrays a globe, and Audrey Ardern-Jones’s poems...

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Review

Sale Write Out Loud goes ahead at the Waterside on Tuesday

Andy N and Amanda Steel are the guest poets at Sale Write Out Loud at the Waterside arts centre, Sale on Tuesday 17 March. Entry is £3 to this open-mic poetry event, which starts at 8pm. More details ...

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Events

Write Out Loud and coronavirus: Bolton, Marsden, Woking nights are cancelled

Three Write Out Loud open-mic poetry nights in March have been cancelled - at Bolton, Marsden, and Woking - as a result of coronavirus safety concerns. Cheltenham poetry festival - due to take place n...

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News

Plea to free Kurdish poet held in Turkish jail for 26 years

The plight of a Kurdish poet who has been in prison in Turkey for 26 years has been highlighted in a letter to the Guardian. The letter, signed by poets George Szirtes, Anne Stevenson,  Ruth Padel, Gi...

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News

Write Out Loud at Bolton Socialist Club is cancelled

The scheduled Bolton Write Out Loud on Sunday 15 March at Bolton Socialist Club has been cancelled after the club scrapped all its events for the next month because of coronavirus safety concerns. Oth...

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Events

Wigan Write Out Loud at the Old Courts tonight

It’s Wigan Write Out Loud at the Bailiff Bar at the Old Courts arts centre, Wigan, on Thursday 12 March. Sign up from 7.30pm for the free open-mic poetry, which starts at 8. More details and Map

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Events

'Consider me a prospector probing with my own gold'

Lest we forget our vegetables, here's a poem by James Bertolino about one of our dearest and healthiest ones. The poet lives in Bellingham, Washington, and this is from his book, Every Wound Has A Rhy...

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American Life in Poetry

New York rhymes: journalists start their day with a poem

A recent revelation that hard-bitten journalists on the New York Times listen to a poem before discussing the daily news agenda has come as a bit of a surprise to those who don’t regard poetry and jou...

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News

Instead, Let Us Say: Dawn Gorman, Dempsey & Windle

Award-winning poet, arts practitioner and freelance editor Dawn Gorman strongly believes in poetry as a participatory and collaborative medium and devises and runs community poetry events that include...

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Review

Write Out Loud at Stockport art gallery tonight

Members of Stockport Write Out Loud meet on Monday 9 March for a read-around of their poetry at Stockport art gallery. The open-floor event begins at 7pm and entry is a £1.50 donation. Each month a co...

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Events

Leeds poetry anthology launched at city's Lit Fest

A poetry anthology about Leeds was launched at Leeds Minster on Wednesday as one of a lively list of poetry events during Leeds Lit Fest, from 4-8 March. The anthology, And The Stones Fell Open, publi...

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Events

MPs praise Tony Harrison in Commons motion

A number of MPs recently signed a Commons early day motion in support of the work of poet Tony Harrison. The motion was sponsored by six Labour MPs, and signed by a number of others. The motion says:

...

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News

'Some rituals of this good earth continue'

That sage curse, "May you live in interesting times," has been upon us for the past few years, but here a Kentucky poet, Jonathan Greene, offers us some reassurance that there is order in the world. G...

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American Life in Poetry

Nicaragua's poet-priest Father Ernesto Cardenal dies aged 95

Father Ernesto Cardenal, a Nicaraguan poet, priest and political revolutionary, who opposed first the ruling Somoza family dynasty and later the leftwing Sandinista party that took its place, has died...

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