Invite to the palace: are you on the list? (Nov 2013)

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are holding a reception “to celebrate contemporary British poetry” on Tuesday 19 November at 6pm –  and, not surprisingly, the poetry world is wondering who has been invited, and who has not. On Twitter leading performance poet Luke Wright said he had received an invitation, but added: "I think I've got to stick to my principles and not go, even if that seems a little pompous/self-important." Another poet, Dean Atta, reacted to his invitation on Twitter: "I can't wait to tell my grandparents!"

While a number of other poetry figures also shared news of their invitations on social media -  and Write Out Loud's article spurred Adam Horovitz into satirical verse, (see below) - Todd Swift, of publisher Eyewear, said in his blog: “Naturally not everyone can be invited, so the list has become a de facto Who's Who.  It would be a fascinating list to see.  I don't seem to be on it, for instance, but I know that the young poet, Keiran Goddard, shortlisted for the Melita Hume prize, is, though yet to have his debut collection out.” Swift added:  “I actually would have attended, gladly.  I am British, and would have been glad to be included. Yet again, though, these hierarchical lists in British poetry - already a small room on a small island - tend to compound divisions, rather than overcome them.  We shall see.  I hope everyone invited has a grand time.”

As AA Milne observed - knowingly or wistfully - in his poem 'Buckingham Palace,' about Christopher Robin's trip there with Alice: "They've great big parties inside the grounds."

After seeing our article, Adam Horovitz wrote a satirical poem after Milne titled ‘They’re Inviting Poets to Buckingham Palace’.

His poem includes the lines “Alice is marrying a tousle-locked bard. / ’A poet’s life is terrible hard,’ ", and “They’ve great big parties inside the grounds. / ’I wish they’d just sent us a hundred pounds,’ / Says Alice”.   

Horovitz said on his blog that it was written “whilst watching with interest a certain amount of huffing and puffing from sections of the poetry community on the internet about whether or not one should, as a poet, take up an invite from the Queen to celebrate contemporary poetry at Buckingham Palace”.  He added: “I wasn’t invited, so can safely bask in satire without having to worry about whether I’d have gone or not …”

His penultimate stanza observes:  “ ‘Do you think they’ll give us a chance to perform?’ / ‘It’s all about tea, dear, not bucking the norm,’ / Says Alice.”

You can read the full poem on Adam Horovitz’s blog here

◄ 'Today is a good day': Lemn Sissay awarded OBE in Queen's birthday honours list

Owen Sheers to judge £1,000 Wells poetry competition ►


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John F Keane

Thu 14th Nov 2013 20:24

*A few spoken word poets will be representing Contemporary poetry at the palace, Kadijah Ibrahim, Ali Gadema, Joelle Taylor and Myself will be adding the urban flavour.*

Great. I feel included, now.

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Maggie Waker

Thu 14th Nov 2013 19:50

HRH was down the road today
Getting on the royal train
From Heaton Chapel Station.
I meant to pop down and have a word
Or even a whole poem
But I forgot and had instead
A cup of tea and small slice of
Royal Battenburg.

Briony Bax

Wed 13th Nov 2013 16:40

I'm proud to be attending the Stephen Spender Poetry in Translation Prize next Tuesday night. You would have thought HM would have looked at the calendar and not clashed with that!

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Harry O'Neill

Tue 12th Nov 2013 19:32

With all on here I sniff the sniff.....

......However, should that very royal-looking letter drop through my letter-box tomorrow...

You must be jokin!

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John Coopey

Tue 12th Nov 2013 18:18

Indeed, Cynthia.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 12th Nov 2013 12:17

Aesop was very wise.

<Deleted User> (10832)

Sun 10th Nov 2013 22:48

Well personally I prefer her in duck egg yellow.

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Sun 10th Nov 2013 22:06

I couldn't be on the list if I tried...

<Deleted User> (10253)

Sun 10th Nov 2013 20:49

Here's my poem for 'em
I wonder when my invite will come

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Sun 10th Nov 2013 20:18

A few spoken word poets will be representing Contemporary poetry at the palace, Kadijah Ibrahim, Ali Gadema, Joelle Taylor and Myself will be adding the urban flavour.

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Paul Sands

Sun 10th Nov 2013 18:05

I wouldn't go down, not even with Alice

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 9th Nov 2013 12:37

Was it Groucho Marx who was reputed to have
rejected the idea of being a member of any club
that would have him?
I feel the same about much modern poetry.
But I'd love to hear what the Duke of Edinburgh
has to say!!

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John Coopey

Sat 9th Nov 2013 12:34

Just so long as the threshold for defining "rich" is above me, eh?

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Graham Sherwood

Sat 9th Nov 2013 12:26

Here we go again. The haves and the have-nots are at it again. The best way of treating Royalty is to ignore them and they then become insignificant surely?

Thank God none of you are on the list. You'd all be too grand for WOL then eh?

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Tommy Carroll

Sat 9th Nov 2013 12:00

The poor and disadvantaged will always be with us as long as we have charities.

fuck charities tax the rich

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John Coopey

Sat 9th Nov 2013 09:06

We really are a charitable bunch, aren't we?

<Deleted User> (4172)

Sat 9th Nov 2013 08:17

I couldn't think of anything worse than mingling with a load of dribbling, sycophantic parasites.

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Tommy Carroll

Fri 8th Nov 2013 19:56

''"They've great big parties inside the grounds,
where suck-ups and lickspittals are doing the rounds''

fuck royal invites

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Julian (Admin)

Fri 8th Nov 2013 18:39

blasted privatised postal services must have mislaid it. Heigh ho. I believe that not being invited is a better option.


Fri 8th Nov 2013 18:13

I'll be there

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Greg Freeman

Fri 8th Nov 2013 17:53

I hope you've received your invitation, Julian.

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