'I dream of a time ...': Benjamin Zephaniah's vision for Britain reimagines Martin Luther King speech

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The poet Benjamin Zephaniah has reimagined Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, in a poem broadcast on BBC Radio’s The World at One. As Americans assembled at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial to mark the anniversary of Dr King’s speech on 28 August 1963, and against the backdrop of the continuing Black Lives Matter protests, Zephaniah delivered his powerful version, with its British c...

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Poets celebrate return to the pub - but plan to continue on Zoom as well

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An open-mic poetry night in Leeds that has been going for more than five years has returned to its live venue after the easing of lockdown. Mark Connors, pictured, who is co-host with Gill Lambert of Word Club at the Chemic Tavern, has been Zooming their open-mic event during lockdown, and plans to ...

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Poetry goes big in Gloucester as installations spread across city

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Poetry installations featuring large-scale letters and art works stencilled in the landscape are appearing all over the city of Gloucester. The Of Earth and Sky project, curated by artist Luke Jerram ...

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Biden quotes Seamus Heaney - and Sophocles - in acceptance speech

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US presidential candidate Joe Biden quoted lines from Seamus Heaney’s translation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes, for his Democratic party nomination acceptance speech on Thursday, the Observer reports tod...

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Wordsworth's Dove Cottage reopens to public with new 'moss hut'

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William Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage at Grasmere reopened to the public on Saturday 15 August for the first time since lockdown, although you need to pre-book your visit. The Wordsworth Trust is also unv...

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Catherine Graham reads poem about the Tyne on BBC radio's The World at One

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An award-winning poet from the north-east featured on the BBC Radio 4’s World at One lunchtime news programme this week, reading her poem about the river Tyne.

Catherine Graham read ‘Hyem (Home)’, ...

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Don't make poetry an optional 'add-on' in schools, warns poet laureate

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The poet laureate Simon Armitage has added his voice to those criticising the decision by the exams body Ofqual to make poetry optional at GCSE. Armitage, whose work is part of the GCSE syllabus, said...

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Award-winning performance poet changes name to Kae Tempest

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The award-winning performance poet Kate Tempest has announced a change of name and pronoun. The poet said on Instagram: “Hello old fans, new fans and passers by - I’m changing my name! And I’m changin...

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Poetry deemed optional for next year's GCSE exam students 'to ease virus pressure'

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Poetry will be optional for GCSE English literature students next year, as part of changes for the 2021 paper brought in by the exams body Ofqual to “ease the pressure on many students and teachers” a...

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Fighting for breath, bats, and a tomato sandwich: poet's near-death experience on a Covid-19 ward

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The award-winning poet John Burnside has told about his time being close to death on a Covid-19 ward, having hallucinations about bats, and the joy of eating a tomato sandwich as he began to recover.

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National Poetry Library mothballed until 2021 as Southbank Centre staff protest at cuts

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The troubled National Poetry Library at London’s Southbank Centre is not due to reopen until at least April 2021, according to a protest letter from staff angered by cuts being imposed across the whol...

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