'Poets should never be lost for words': peace campaigner Antony Owen talks about the war in Ukraine and the new nuclear threat

President Putin’s barely-veiled threat at the start of the invasion of Ukraine to inflict a nuclear attack on the West if it took arms against him was a chilling reminder  of the mortal danger hanging over us all. Write Out Loud has interviewed peace poet and anti-nuclear campaigner Antony Owen before. Owen has written poems about his conversations with survivors of Hiroshima for an earlier collec...

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Interview

Live and online all-day Poem-a-Thon raises over £25,000 to aid Ukraine

The Poem-a-Thon, a fundraising project to aid people in Ukraine, took place on Mothers Day, and involved 50 poets reading for five minutes each between 11am and 5pm, at JW3, a Jewish arts and community centre in north London, either in-person or via Zoom. In the evening there was a “gala event”, wit...

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News

Fancy opening a show for Dr John Cooper Clarke? Then read on ...

No, we don’t think this is fake news! It seems unlikely but the Bard of Salford, Dr John Cooper Clarke, is offering one lucky poet an opening slot at JCC’s London show at the Hammersmith Eventim Apoll...

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Competitions

Remembering Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian poet and painter, with immersive exhibition

As the Russian invasion continues, with the intention, it seems, of erasing Ukraine from the map, an exhibition in Chicago recalls a 19th-century poet and painter who put himself in danger by writing ...

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News

'We are better now - that is the hope': Simon Armitage's poem to mark second Covid anniversary

The poet laureate, Simon Armitage, has given a reading of his new poem, ‘Only Human’, that was commissioned by York Minster to mark the second National Day of Reflection for Covid-19 on 23 March 2022.

...

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News

Bursary fund in memory of David Andrew to support young poets

The children of David Andrew, Lydia and Felix, are setting up a bursary aimed at supporting young poets, in memory of their father and mother. Felix said: “I work for a creative arts charity, Eastside...

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News

‘He really believed in Write Out Loud’: David Andrew, former Gig Guide editor, dies aged 82

We at Write Out Loud are very sorry to say that one of the most influential, active, enthusiastic and committed members of the Write Out Loud team over the years - our former Gig Guide editor, David A...

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Obituary

NeurodiVERSE anthology by poets who think differently

An anthology of poetry by more than 50 neurodivergent writers from the UK and across the world is being published by Manchester’s Flapjack Press. ‘Neurodivergence’ is defined as a variance in mental o...

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News

Friend of Write Out Loud Kim Haygarth dies, age 47

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of friend of Write Out Loud, Kim Haygarth (pictured in 2009), on Saturday 12 March at the very early age of 47 years.

Kim was a wonderful frien...

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Obituary

The Blockade Swallow: Olga Berggolts, tr Veniamin Gushchin, Smokestack

Olga Berggolts was a Soviet poet, playwright and journalist, who broadcast daily on Leningrad radio during the three-year Nazi blockade of the city. One and a half million people starved to death duri...

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Review

Lemn Sissay and Grace Nichols receive royal awards

Two leading poets received awards from royalty yesterday. Poet and playwright Lemn Sissay collected his OBE from Prince Charles for services to literature and to charity.

Lemn Sissay, who is chance...

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News

Shaking the Persimmon Tree: Marc Woodward, Sea Crow Press

Born in New York, Marc Woodward has been a lifelong resident of rural England. He is the author of three previous collections of poetry, A Fright of Jays (Maquette, 2015), Hide Songs (Green Bottle Pre...

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Review

How To Be A Dressing Gown: Charlotte Oliver, Dreich

A surreal world and a strong sense of identity are depicted in How To Be A Dressing Gown, Charlotte Oliver’s debut pamphlet. Her poems evolve with vivid imagery where a clear voice transports the read...

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Review

Jolivia Gaston is guest host at Write Out Loud Sale tonight

Jolivia Gaston will be the guest host of Write Out Loud Sale on Monday 14 March at the Waterside arts centre, Sale. The open-mic poetry night starts at 7.30pm. More details

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Events

'False news is news with the pity edited out': Simon Armitage's poem about the war in Ukraine

The poet laureate Simon Armitage has written a poem about the war in Ukraine. Titled ‘Resistance’, Armitage read it on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday 11 March. The poem includes these lines: ...

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News

One poet broadcasts from Kyiv, another makes her way from Ukraine to Scotland to appear at poetry festival

A remarkable event took place at Scotland’s StAnza international festival when one Ukrainian poet appeared on video link from Kyiv and another actually appeared in person at the festival in St Andrews...

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News

Sicilian Elephants: David Cooke, Two Rivers Press

The subjects and areas covered in David Cooke’s latest collection are many and varied as he invites us to go on a quest with him through history. Several poems are set in Mediterranean countries, espe...

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Review

A poem for Ukraine on International Women's Day

Today is International Women’s Day – and we at Write Out Loud have decided to mark it by drawing attention to this poem posted today by one of our regular bloggers, Julie Callaghan. Julie has been pos...

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News

Best spoken word performer, best spoken word night? Vote, vote, vote for the Saboteur awards!

The annual Saboteur awards, where you can vote for your favourite spoken word performer, best regular spoken word night, best spoken word show, and for many other categories, are open from today, 7 Ma...

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Awards

Bolton, where it all began ... co-founder returns to revive live night

One of the co-founders of Bolton Write Out Loud open-mic poetry night has returned to oversee its live return to Bolton Socialist Club. Dave Morgan, pictured, who launched the night almost two decades...

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News

Scottish festival event originally featuring Ukrainian poets to go ahead in show of support

A planned collaborative poetry event between four Scottish poets and four poets in Ukraine that was due to take place on Thursday 10 March as part of the StAnza international poetry festival is being ...

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News

Count the Ways: Finola Scott, Dreich

Finola Scott’s poems develop the idea of what it is like to experience the world through the senses and profoundly felt sensations. A sense of hope and optimism that arises from people meeting each ot...

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Review

Remembering Yevtushenko's poem as missiles land close to massacre memorial

Russian missiles that attacked a TV tower in Kyiv – an attack that killed five people and wounded five others - landed close to the memorial site that commemorates the victims of Babyn Yar, the ravine...

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Ukraine

Anna Saunders to judge £250 Indigo Dreams poetry prize

Anna Saunders will be judging the £250 inaugural Indigo Dreams open poetry prize. The deadline is 31 March. More details

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Competitions

Bradford's Talking in Tongues open mic returns at new venue tonight

A popular Bradford open mic poetry night is returning at a new venue. Talking in Tongues will be running every first Wednesday of the month, beginning on Wednesday 2 March, in the Exchange Bar, Market...

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Events

Farewell Performance: Vernon Scannell, Smokestack

Vernon Scannell was at one time a professional boxer. He also twice deserted from the army during the second world war, and was twice court-martialled as a result. Yet these later collected poems show...

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Review

Watching the river flow: Cornish poet traces stream's toxic past

A remarkable film including extracts of a poem about a river in Cornwall can be seen on BBC4’s iPlayer at the moment. Poet John Wedgwood Clarke explores the Red River in Cornwall, a watercourse not mu...

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News

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