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Liz Lochhead reads My Rival’s House, Imtiaz Dharker reads Honour Killing, Simon Armitage reads An Accommodation, Fleur Adcock reads Strangers On a Tram, Paul Farley reads Treacle, Robin Robertson reads At Roane Head, and Jo Shapcott reads I go Inside the Tree, in a Guardian series of poets reading their own work. 

A librarianship student with the Poetry Library at the South Bank in London is doing a study on how people use poetry to support their emotional wellbeing. You can help by completing a short survey. 

“It might sound odd to call up-state Huddersfield a mysterious place, but when you get to the end of those valleys and the roads fizzle out, they're great venues for the imagination."  Simon Armitage talking about the lure of the Pennines and his new translation, The Death of King Arthur, in a Guardian interview.

BBC Newsnight: Why Oxford’s professor of poetry Geoffrey Hill includes Frankie Howerd and Ken Dodd among his inspirations.

The Poetry Society: Roger McGough’s poem about the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree.









◄ Queen's Gold Medal for Jo Shapcott

Adam Woolley at Write Out Loud Bolton tonight ►


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Nick Coleman

Fri 30th Dec 2011 12:55

Very much enjoyed reading/listening to these. However was Mr McGough really trying to write in Christmas card verse suitable for the subject, with a cliche on every line? Simon Armitage's contribution was interesting but his monotonous monotone rendition made it hard to pay attention. I found the subject matter of most, not all, too introspective for my liking.
Only my opinion - feel free to tear me to shreds.

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Wed 21st Dec 2011 13:56

I enjoyed listening to these - can't think why I missed them first time round.

I found Liz Lochead quite scary reading My Rival's House. I bet she is one mother in law you wouldn't want to piss off. It kind of brought back bad memories. I was the untidy daughter in law with a mother in law who never sat down for doing housework. How do sons manage to get it so wrong? I remember making our engagement announcement and my mother in law quite nearly fainting. We had to sit her down and get her a glass of cold water. It was really unnerving - not at all what I'd been expecting...

I loved Imtiaz's 'Honour Killing' - loved her performance of it also - the anger inside her is palpable. If only we could spread her spirit to everyone living in that kind of hell.

Enjoyed Simon's story also. I think maybe his accommodation sharing is a symbolic thing but can imagine it becoming a reality for many, as couples can't afford to split up. Very sad - with great visual imagery.

Thank you to Greg? for bringing this to us.

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Julian (Admin)

Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:47

As I live in the village that Simon comes from, Marsden, I can testify to the curious lure the Pennines have, and their potential for the creative, poetic imagination; though not sure the roads really fizzle out, as Marsden is on the old A62 which, far from petering, is still technically the main trunk road between the two great ports of Hull and Liverpool, linking those two with Manchester and Leeds. THE great cross-Pennine route before the awful M62 obliterated one of my favourite spots - waterfall and all. Or am I being too prosaic?
We are also, as the crow flies only around 18 miles from the scenery around Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd that inspired Ted Hughes.

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