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

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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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Susannah Hart wins £5,000 National Poetry Competition

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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 long sentence, the winning poem uses the dispassionate language of bureaucracy and policy to counterb...

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Arts Council England prepares £160m emergency funding package

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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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

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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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New York rhymes: journalists start their day with a poem

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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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MPs praise Tony Harrison in Commons motion

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

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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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