'Like dust their lives so small compared to ours'

Roxane Beth Johnson’s elegy to her father is striking for the tender and intimate details that constitute the memory of him, especially his shirts, which become almost talismans for her to explore ideas of mortality and life: “first slick with water, last a bowl of ash.”  In the end, this beautiful sonnet, 'In His Lover’s House, A Father Rises', is an ode to persistent memory as an antidote to the...

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American Life in Poetry

'Like sitting on top of the world': former family home of Ted Hughes up for sale

A house in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire, that once belonged to the family of Ted Hughes, and of which Sylvia Plath wrote in a letter to her mother, “Up here it is like sitting on top of the world'', is for sale.

The three-bedroom, detached house is called The Beacon, and in estate agent parlance “...

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News

Blood Sugar, Sex, Magic: Sarah James, Verve Poetry Press

I’m a sucker for a rock reference in poetry and Sarah James’s playful borrowing of the title of a classic rock album for the title of her collection is a masterstroke. Not only is it playful for the f...

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Review

Offa's Press launches anthology of West Midlands poetry

New Voices, a showcase anthology of poetry from the West Midlands, has been published by Offa’s Press. It is edited by publisher Simon Fletcher, and includes poetry by Tom Allsopp, from Hednesford, St...

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Publications

Organiser Simon Fletcher looks back on 20 years of Wolverhampton spoken word night

“City Voices’ is 20 years old? I can’t believe it,” a friend commented to me recently. I can’t believe it either but there it is. Who’d have thought a gathering of poets and writers in an upstairs roo...

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First person

Thank you, Stephen Gospage, for never letting us forget about the war in Ukraine

We at Write Out Loud would like to mark Ukraine Independence Day by paying tribute to our own regular contributor Stephen Gospage, who has been untiring in posting poems about the terrible situation i...

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News

The English Summer: Holly Hopkins, Penned in the Margins

The English Summer by Holly Hopkins bears little resemblance to those summers we’ve loved and loathed over the years, from the wash-out holidays at the seasides of our youth to the never-ending summer...

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Review

‘I now help many people find their own pleasure in writing. You can't put a price on that'

Linda Cosgriff, a longstanding member of Stockport Write Out Loud, wrote an article for this website five years ago about her excitement at embarking on a creative writing MA at Manchester Metropolita...

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First person

'Home be this small silence you curl into anywhere you go'

Nowhere in her poem, 'Self-Portrait with Impending War', does Lauren K Alleyne mention a war, but the rumours of war and the disquiet of the world seem to haunt this “self-portrait” in which the self ...

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American Life in Poetry

Honorifics: Cynthia Miller, Nine Arches Press

Born in Kuching, Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian-American poet, festival producer and innovation consultant living in Edinburgh. Her poems have been published widely both at home and abroad. Honorifics ...

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Review

Deadline nears for £1,000 Oxford Brookes competition

Caroline Bird will be judging the £1,000 Oxford Brookes international poetry competition. The deadline is 31 August. More details  

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Competitions

Pioneer poetry competition for deaf and disabled poets

Jerwood Poetry Fellow Jamie Hale, pictured, is launching the UK’s first Disabled Poets prize in collaboration with Spread the Word, Verve Poetry Press, Verve Poetry Festival, and CRIPtic Arts. The pri...

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Competitions

A Fire Shared: Peter Didsbury, Legal Highs Press

I came to know about this book through the ever-excellent series of close readings of poems that Carol Rumens posts for the Guardian. The poem by Didsbury she looked at was the eponymous ‘A Fire Share...

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Review

'One perfect stitch after another perfect stitch'

'Mend' is a poem of great intimacy. L Renée remembers her mother as the mender of garments, and as someone who had a life of rich experiences before the poet was born. This moment of separation descri...

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American Life in Poetry

'It was the eve of war but they didn't know'

War, impending war and exile forced by war, are increasing preoccupations in the work of Ladan Osman — not so much the wars, but the damage that they do to everyday people who are trying to live in th...

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American Life in Poetry

The Cat Comes and with her the Garden: Brit Shneuer

Brit Shneuer’s self-published collection is an intimate journey through nature in which the poet explores, meditates on and finds her inner voice as she connects with the environment. It is a multi-fa...

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Review

Pennine trek raises £3,000 for women's poetry organisation - and leaves treasures behind

A treasure trove of six prize-winning poems in the form of small art objects was left along the Pennine Way after a charity walk earlier this summer by poet Richard Skinner, pictured. Some of the obje...

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News

The Talking Stick: O Pookering Kosh, Raine Geoghegan, Salmon

Sometimes a collection arrives where a reviewer’s task is not so much to seek out and analyse the way the poetry is crafted, but more importantly, to recognise the significance of the subject matter, ...

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Review

Custard pie throwers, a Laughing Yoga Man, and the Reality Zone: poet Robert Garnham on the bizarre world of Britain's Got Talent

Comedy performance poet Robert Garnham was somewhat startled to be invited to audition for the hit TV show Britain's Got Talent hosted by Ant and Dec. But he was happy to go along with it. Here's his ...

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First person

Yay! Robert Garnham takes his search for happiness to Edinburgh

Comedy performance poet Robert Garnham is taking his show about happiness to the Edinburgh Fringe. He will be performing Yay: The Search for Happiness from 14-20 August at the PBH Free Fringe, at the ...

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Events

The Citizen and the making of City: Roy Fisher, Bloodaxe

To many of his readers, the work of the late Roy Fisher will always be synonymous with Birmingham. The city consumed him and his fascination with it became a magnet for his writing. Reading his work m...

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Review

Jazz and poetry at Arundel's Jailhouse

There’s a mix of jazz and poetry at the Arundel festival in West Sussex, when poets Chris Hardy, Raine Geoghegan, Naomi Foyle, and Barry Smith perform alongside the Big House jazz band. The venue is A...

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Events

Simon Armitage reflects on 10 Philip Larkin poems to mark centenary

The poet laureate Simon Armitage will be examining Philip Larkin’s poems in 10 BBC Radio 4 programmes, starting on Monday 8 August, to mark the centenary of Larkin’s birth. The poems he will be lookin...

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News

Wigan's Shaun Fallows at the PBH Free Fringe in Edinburgh

Sunny and Chair is the title of disabled poet Shaun Fallows’ spoken word show at the PBH Free Fringe in Edinburgh this week. Shaun, who was born with cerebral palsy, and has been a regular at Write Ou...

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Events

Open-mic poetry group launches Ukraine anthology

A poetry anthology to help raise funds for displaced Ukrainian refugees has been published by an open-mic poetry group in south-west London. Most of the poets featured in Poems for Ukraine regularly p...

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News

Food for thought: Muldoon's Picnic on Irish tour

Acclaimed Irish poet Paul Muldoon is assembling a cabaret-style line-up of poetry, prose and music for a short tour of Ireland. Muldoon will be joined by house band Rogue Oliphant, a collective of mus...

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Events

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