Poetry online: how five poets from Manila took part in Philippines-Cheshire virtual open-mic link-up

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Last week we mentioned that earlier this month a virtual poetry night in Chester was visited by five poets from Manila in the Philippines. It was 2.15 am their time when they arrived - so they must have been keen. It’s a wonderful example of poetry without frontiers or borders in this time of lockdown. We wanted to know more, so we spoke to organiser Debz Butler, of Testify.

She told us that th...

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News

Wendy Cope, Folkestone, 2015

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Ted Hughes is said to have told Wendy Cope in 1992: “I like your deadpan fearless sort of way of whacking the nail on the head – when everybody else is trying to hang pictures on it.”

Cope is still wielding the hammer to great effect as a packed audience at the Folkestone book festival discovered...

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We'll meet again

Grenade Genie: Thomas McColl, Fly on the Wall Press

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Thomas McColl is engaging to meet, a quality that fully comes across in this collection of 25 poems that is deeply sceptical about the internet, kicks against the pricks of bureaucracy, and is laced w...

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Review

'Boris, don't do that': poet Emma Purshouse updates Joyce Grenfell with new reception class rules

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As confusion lingers over government plans for some children to return to school very soon, performance poet Emma Purshouse has reacted by producing her own pastiche of Joyce Grenfell’s beloved monolo...

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News

'The busy waitress pauses, nods. She’s always known the boys'

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I’ve shown you a couple of poems from the anthology, Local News: Poetry About Small Towns, from MWPH Books, PO Box 8, in Fairwater, WI. Here’s another, by Mark Vinz, who lives in Minnesota. Time and t...

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American Life in Poetry

To Philip with love: letters from Monica to Larkin to be published

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A leading scholar has been given access to thousands of previously unpublished letters to Philip Larkin from his long-term lover Monica Jones that reveal the pain of her partnership with the poet over...

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News

Poetry on Zoom ... the good, the bad and the ugly. From Manila to Chester, but trouble at Wigan

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Poetry events on Zoom are undoubtedly a force for good, for most of the time. They provide access for housebound poets, and also allow poets from far-flung places to attend. On Tuesday Write Out Loud ...

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News

Michael Rosen leaves ICU after 47 days but remains in hospital

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The writer and poet Michael Rosen is still in hospital, eight weeks after falling ill, his wife said today. Emma-Louise Williams posted a message on Twitter saying: “I'm very happy to say he left ICU ...

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News

Elvis McGonagall, Teddington, 2014

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“Elvis,” compere Julie Mullen confided to her audience, “is in the building.” And what a building! “You did say it was deconsecrated?” the legendary resident of Graceland Caravan Park inquired later, ...

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We'll meet again

Here is some good advice to think about before sending in your poem to our competition

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Here are a few tips to consider before entering Write Out Loud’s Beyond the Storm poetry competition:

Patience Agbabi, writing last year about the Marsden the Poetry Village competition, which had ...

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Beyond the Storm competition

Blood Rain: André Mangeot, Seren

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I wonder how many of us can remember being taught about oxbow lakes in Geography? Reading the opening poem in this collection brought it all back to me. I can even recall the drawing that our teacher ...

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Review

'The many anonymous mute stones in their shade'

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We’ve featured several other poems by Bruce Guernsey, who lives in Illinois and Maine. But here he is visiting Gettysburg and giving us a poem for Memorial Day. 'Naming the Trees' is forthcoming in th...

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American Life in Poetry

'Poetry consoled me for many disappointments ... a sudden moment of silence and peace'

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In the first of a series of interviews, Neil Leadbeater talks to Sally Evans, an influential figure on the Scottish poetry scene for many years as editor of Poetry Scotland, and as organiser of the Ca...

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Spotlight on Scotland

Dominic Berry wins Saboteur award for best spoken word performer

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Dominic Berry has won the Saboteur indie lit award for best spoken performer for the second time in four years. After hearing Saturday’s announcement, he posted on Twitter and with a picture on Instag...

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News

Sarah James and Judith Wozniak win Hippocrates prizes for poetry and medicine

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Sarah James has won the £1,000 Hippocrates open prize for poetry and medicine, and retired GP Judith Wozniak the £1,000 health professional prize, it was announced last night. 

The awards were made...

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News

Paul Muldoon and Don Paterson, Manchester, 2013

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The shadow of the late Seamus Heaney loomed large over this evening of poetry reading – he should have been there. As Don Paterson, sadly but brilliantly standing in for the maestro, told the packed a...

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We'll meet again

Keats-Shelley House in Rome unveils digital collections and 'dinner' competition

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The Keats-Shelley House Museum and Library in Rome is launching new digital collections celebrating the lives and works of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The launch coincides with the start of K...

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News

Heartwarming poem posted on Write Out Loud and set to music strikes a chord

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An uplifting and comforting poem to help us through the coronavirus crisis and lockdown that was posted on Write Out Loud – and put to music as well – has struck a worldwide chord. ‘In the Time of Qui...

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News

'Be bold and be brave': that's the message from competition judge Andrew McMilllan

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Write Out Loud’s Beyond the Storm competition judge Andrew McMillan has outlined the kind of poems he is looking for when he sifts through shortlisted entries. He said: “I’m looking forward to spendin...

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Beyond the Storm competition

Please help us spread the word, to raise funds for our beloved, brave, tireless NHS staff

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We’re proud of our Beyond the Storm competition to raise funds for the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. But we need your help in spreading the word, to raise as much cash as we can. All ...

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Beyond the Storm competition

You can do more than just clap for the NHS – support its staff by entering our Beyond the Storm poetry competition!

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 Write Out Loud has launched its most ambitious poetry competition yet, to raise funds for the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal. The Beyond The Storm Poetry Competition  – for poems about...

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Competitions

'Where Did All The People Go?' Carla Mellor's lockdown words for children

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As debate rages about whether it is safe for some primary school pupils to return to school soon, Write Out Loud would like to pay tribute to one poet who has helped to maintain the morale of youngste...

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News

Litany of a Cardiologist: Denise Bundred, Against The Grain

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This pamphlet of 23 poems represents the remarkable poetic distillation of a lifetime’s medical experiences and insights. Denise Bundred trained as a paediatrician in Cape Town and worked as a consult...

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Review

'Idaho russets and Yukon Golds, reds and whites and yams'

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Once, as a young man, I needed a pair of black shoes to wear at a wedding at which I was to be a groomsman and after work one day I was following a truck with a flapping canvas over the open back, whe...

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American Life in Poetry

Poet in residence Louise Fazackerley reads at school's VE Day event

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Pupils of Lily Lane primary school in Moston, Manchester, on Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day with an event in which poetry was well to the fore. At the livestream event the school’s poe...

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Young Write Out Loud

Am-dram days, serial killers, trampoline triumph: Simon Armitage looks back on Desert Island Discs

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The poet laureate Simon Armitage delivered his own take on the Covid-19 lockdown during his Desert Island Discs appearance on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday. In an interview with host Lauren Laverne that was c...

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News

Liz Lochhead in Devizes, 2014

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Scotland’s makar, Liz Lochhead, is trying out new poetry for her forthcoming Edinburgh show later this summer. Poems like ‘Song for a Dirty Diva’ might be suitable for the Fringe, but Devizes on a Sun...

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We'll meet again

A poem about togetherness - then everything changed. Prize-winning poet Jo Haslam talks about lockdown   

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Congratulations to West Yorkshire poet Jo Haslam, who recently won the Teignmouth poetry festival prize with her poem ‘The Kiss’. And commiserations that because the poetry festival was cancelled, the...

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News

'I just wanted to do SOMETHING': why Luke Wright has been performing nightly during the lockdown

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On a Monday night in mid-March when live events started being cancelled lock, stock, and barrel due to the coronavirus crisis, leading performance poet Luke Wright said on Twitter that he would be liv...

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Interview

Louise Fazackerley on Saboteur award shortlist for best spoken word performer

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Leading performance poet – and Write Out Loud board member – Louise Fazackerley has won a place on the four-strong shortlist for the Saboteur award for best spoken word performer, it was announced tod...

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News

Roger Robinson wins £10,000 Ondaatje prize

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This year’s TS Eliot prize winner, Roger Robinson, has won the Royal Society of Literature’s £10,000 Ondaatje prize, which goes to a work that best evokes “the spirit of a place”.

Robinson’s collec...

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News

Taking Flight: Aileen Ballantyne, Luath Press

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The opening poem in this collection, ‘Full Moon’, should be regarded as an augury for a sequence later in the book. The poet is travelling on a Boeing 777:

 

     I touched my leather rucksack,

...

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Review

'Having been happily trained for pain, they flash their unharmed smiles'

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Deirdre O’Connor is the director of The Writing Center at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and the following poem is from her new collection from Able Muse Press, The Cupped Field. I’m sticking my ...

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American Life in Poetry

thirty-one small acts of love and resistance: Steve Pottinger, Ignite Books

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Steve Pottinger’s latest collection covers familiar territory for me. Three of the poems are centred on an incident at Wolverhampton Baths which is where I learned to swim and thereby gain sufficient ...

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Review

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