Six black British poets on Black Lives Matter, and publishing challenges in the UK

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The Observer has published interviews with six leading black British poets – Linton Kwesi Johnson, Vanessa Kisuule, Raymond Antrobus, Grace Nichols, Kayo Chingongi, and Malika Booker, pictured. The interviews are inspirational and important, and Write Out Loud believes our readers need to know about them. Here are some extracts from those interviews:   

 

Linton Kwesi Johnson, who was born i...

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Frail Rosen home after three months in hospital with Covid-19 but not fully recovered

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The writer and poet Michael Rosen has returned home, after spending three months in hospital with Covid-19, including many weeks in intensive care. His wife Emma-Louise Williams posted this picture on Twitter with a one-word caption: “Home!”

On Thursday a still-frail Rosen said on Twitter: "I ver...

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Luke Wright performs his 100th consecutive online show - and now he plans a break

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Indefatigable performance poet Luke Wright notched up his 100th consecutive spoken word show since the lockdown on Twitter last night – and now he’s finally taking a break. Luke will be switching to p...

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'I wanted a real live reacting audience ... live streaming isn't the same thing at all. But now I've been converted to the potential of online gigs'

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The Covid19 pandemic lockdown has hit live performance hard. Venues and artists have suffered loss of incomes, gigs and festivals have been cancelled, and book and album launches have had to be deferr...

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Stockport Write Out Loud poets record eight weeks of lockdown in anthology

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Members of Stockport Write Out Loud have produced an anthology of pandemic poetry, titled Eight Weeks of Lockdown, a week by week poetic diary about their thoughts and experiences.

Each week took a...

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He's tweeting again: recovering Michael Rosen returns to social media

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The poet and writer Michael Rosen has returned to Twitter, almost three months after being taken to hospital with suspected Covid-19 and spending many weeks in intensive care.

Rosen, aged 74, who i...

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Poetry Foundation promises sweeping changes after Black Lives Matter resignations

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The Poetry Foundation has promised sweeping reforms after an extraordinary few days in which its president, Henry Beinen, and the chair of the foundation’s board, Willard Bunn III, resigned in respons...

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Simon Armitage's band LYR sets sail with debut album Call in the Crash Team

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Simon Armitage has found a place for “some little bits of writing that I really didn’t have a home for” – by turning them into lyrics performed by a band called LYR (Land Yacht Regatta) who will be re...

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Simon Armitage's band LYR sets sail with debut album Call in the Crash Team

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Simon Armitage has found a place for “some little bits of writing that I really didn’t have a home for” – by turning them into lyrics performed by a band called LYR (Land Yacht Regatta) who will be re...

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Black people suffer police brutality in the UK, George the Poet tells Newsnight

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A poet who was interviewed about the politics of race on the BBC’s Newsnight programme this week insisted there were parallels between the riots in the US following the death of George Floyd, and blac...

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Midlands arts organisation Scriptstuff launches pandemic anthology

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Midlands-based arts organisation Scriptstuff Entertainment has published an anthology of poetry written in response to the lockdown and the spread of Covid-19. Formatted to resemble a classic open mic...

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Poetry online: perhaps there's an open-mic future that might include Zoom when all this is over?

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Don’t get me wrong. We at Write Out Loud Woking love our regular venue in the cafe area at the Lightbox museum and art gallery. It makes us feel part of a wider arts community – and we know they value...

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