'I hold my life above a sieve'

There is a long and ancient tradition of poetry as a form of prayer. Here, in a poem from his new collection of new and selected poems, The Naked Prince, South Carolinian poet Ben Greer brings to my mind the faith we have in words, even as he contemplates the comforts of his own faith in God.

 

EASE

by Ben Greer

Sometimes my prayers are short
they stop above my head
and God must bend...

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American Life in Poetry

'My kingdom for a train' ... poems for 18 rail stations along the Shakespeare Line

Rail passengers in the West Midlands can enjoy a little extra inspiration and entertainment when travelling on the Shakespeare Line – from Birmingham Moor Street to Stratford-upon-Avon - with the release of 18 specially written poems.

The poems by 18 West Midlands writers were commissioned for ea...

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News

Manuscript of Emily Bronte's poems may fetch £1.2m

A handwritten manuscript of 29 of Emily Bronte’s poems, with pencil corrections by her sister Charlotte, is going up for auction as part of a collection that has been out of public view for nearly a c...

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News

Calling young spoken word artists - here's a chance to develop your skills

New Writing North is partnering with BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Asian Network and BBC Contains Strong Language in a project to find the best emerging spoken word talent in the UK. Words First is a talent de...

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Opportunities

'Moths sing of you from wherever moths go to sing'

Sometimes defining what we mean by love causes us to fumble around, until we find the right language, or, as in this case, the perfect lived image that captures it all. Tyree Daye does this here in hi...

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American Life in Poetry

Write Out Loud Welcomes Thea Ayres to the Team!

WriteOutLoud is delighted to welcome Thea Ayres to the editorial team!  Thea has already got stuck right into the task of representing Write Out Loud across our social media presence, currently on Twi...

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Write Out Loud Team News

Bloody Amazing! Taboo-breaking anthology wins accolade

One of the stories that emerged from the recent Saboteur awards was the success of Bloody Amazing, the best anthology winner, “full of taboo-breaking poems about bleeding” - menstruation and the menop...

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News

Jane Lovell wins £5,000 Gingko eco-poem prize

Jane Lovell, pictured, has won the £5,000 Gingko eco-poetry prize for her poem ‘Ming’, the Poetry School has announced. Second was Daniel Fraser (‘Field Notes’), and third was Emily Groves (‘What Surv...

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News

Have a look at what you can view on Write Out Loud's new Patreon channel

Write Out Loud has taken another big step forward by screening the first of our Spoken Sessions shows, featuring Kirsten Luckins, Forward prize winner Will Harris, plus four open micers. It was hosted...

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Write Out Loud

Reading Between the Lines: Neil Leadbeater, Littoral Press

The poetry of place and a love and detailed knowledge of nature go hand in hand in the work of Neil Leadbeater, who in his latest collection Reading Between the Lines delights in excursions down count...

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Review

Big Poetry Goes Viral, Paignton, 2020

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

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We still met online

My kind of poet: the seriously funny Wendy Cope

I owe an enormous debt to Wendy Cope because she rekindled my interest in poetry without ever realising it. Our paths crossed in 1984 when she handed over to me as reviews editor of Contact, the weekl...

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Platform

Myanmar poet dies in detention after interrogation

A Myanmar poet has died in detention and his body was returned with the organs removed, his family said. The Guardian reported the death of Khet Thi, who wrote: “They shoot in the head, but they don’t...

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News

Simon Armitage's Oxford lectures on poetry to be published

The collected lectures of the poet laureate Simon Armitage when he was Oxford Professor of Poetry are to be published this week. In A Vertical Art Armitage tries to identify a ‘common sense’ approach ...

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News

'Each bite an ordinary weapon we wield against the shrinking of mouths'

The insane birds in 'Almost Forty', by the always eloquent and emotionally generous poet Ada Limón, seem to be warning of the coming of winter, but it is time, really, and its passing, that they anthe...

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American Life in Poetry

Luke Wright voted best spoken word performer in Saboteur awards

Luke Wright, who performed nightly on Twitter for 100 consecutive nights from his Suffolk home at the beginning of lockdown last year, has won the Saboteur award for best spoken word performer, it was...

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News

Raymond Antrobus to judge £5,000 Bridport poetry prize

Raymond Antrobus will be judging the £5,000 Bridport poetry prize. The deadline is 31 May. More details

 

PHOTOGRAPH: SUKI DHANDA

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Competitions

Sharing poetry and photos and anthology launch on Dylan Thomas Day

A host of events are lined up on Friday, 14 May, to celebrate International Dylan Thomas Day. It’s the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Centre in ...

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News

Nonagenarian's poetry collection becomes Amazon bestseller after granddaughter's Twitter plea

A 92-year-old poet has soared to the top of the Amazon poetry bestseller list, after his granddaughter urged friends on Twitter to support the book. Gordon McCulloch’s 101 Poems includes poetry about ...

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News

Lemn Sissay and Benjamin Zephaniah on Indie Book Awards list

Two books by leading poets are on the shortlist for the Indie Book Awards, it was announced today. They are Lemn Sissay’s memoir My Name Is Why, and Benjamin Zephaniah’s children’s novel Windrush Chil...

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News

Rescue From The Dark: Paul Francis, Fair Acre Press

Paul Francis is a retired teacher who has published three previous main poetry collections; he has also won three national poetry competitions, and been placed second or third in three others, includi...

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Review

Poems for Jeremy Corbyn, London, 2016

The news that the anthology Poems for Jeremy Corbyn was being reprinted because of its popularity, reported right at the start of its launch at Housman’s radical bookshop in London, probably received ...

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We'll meet again

'Animals long believed gone crept down from trees'

Tracy K Smith, former poet laureate, has a wonderful way with strange and haunting images, that still manage to tell a resonant story. I think of the old story she tells here - how future generations ...

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American Life in Poetry

Separation, loss, inspiration: six poets talk about how the pandemic affected them

Raymond Antrobus was separated from his new wife for nine months during the pandemic lockdown; Hollie McNish lost her grandmother and found herself watching her funeral online; Jay Bernard lost two gr...

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News

This Kilt of Many Colours: David Bleiman, Dempsey & Windle

Different languages and diverse cultural heritages shape this multi-voiced collection. David Bleiman weaves his multilingual identity, embracing English, Scots, Scots-Yiddish, Spanish and Yiddish lang...

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Review

Bringing the poetry community together: join the first online Spoken Session on our new Patreon channel - and help us grow!

As the UK eases out of lockdown, the prospect of in-person poetry events is on the horizon. But the appetite for live poetry can’t wait that long! And the phenomenal success of virtual poetry events a...

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Write Out Loud

‘The astonishing survival of the human spirit’: Jenny Mitchell's poetry on the history of enslavement

Jenny Mitchell’s prizewinning debut collection Her Lost Language was an exploration of the impact of British transatlantic enslavement on black lives and family dynamics. Her new collection Map of a P...

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Interview

Last few hours for voting in the Saboteur awards!

Publishing and life partners Ronnie Goodyer and Dawn Bauling of Indigo Dreams have notched up three shortlist nominations in the indie Saboteur awards, to be voted on over the next few weeks. Ronnie a...

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News

Fishing for an audience: live poetry events at Brixham museum

The fishing town of Brixham in south Devon will be staging its own three-day live literary event next month. Brixham Books and Bards at Brixham Heritage Museum from 1-3 June will include Paignton perf...

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Events

'Watching the troubled people running and crying'

I have a memory of Lucille Clifton responding to a young poet who asked her how she managed to be a productive publishing poet despite having to raise six children, by saying, “I wrote shorter poems.”...

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American Life in Poetry

Simon Armitage launches library tour at 'Ashby-de-la-Zoom'

Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire seemed a fitting place to begin Simon Armitage’s 10-year – sorry, make that nine-year – lockdown-affected tour of the selected libraries of the nation, big and smal...

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News

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