Hear 60 poets, meet 60 publishers at London poetry book fair Free Verse

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A poetry book fair for publishers, poets and readers that is described as “an all-day bazaar, market, library, meeting place, performance venue, information resource and more” returns to Conway Hall in central London on Saturday 6 September, from 10am-4.30pm, and will then carry on during the evening at a nearby pub. Free readings during the day will showcase the work of over 60 poets, including ones from Bloodaxe, Happenstance, Grey Hen, Peepal Tree, Nine Arches, Seren, Carcanet and Flarestack. In the evening at the nearby Rugby Tavern further readings will include poets featured in Ambit, and from Eyewear, Emma Press, and Faber. More than 60 publishers are expected to turn up, to set out their stalls and display their wares.

In among the booksellers and pamphlet promoters, the Poetry School will be helping fairgoers write the Poetry School Free Verse Cento. They’ll ask: "What books have you bought? What pile of pamphlets is that in your basket or briefcase?". Then poet Alex MacDonald will take the first lines of the first poems from the newly purchased books and make them into a cento, a patchwork poem that will grow throughout the day.

Organisers Free Verse have secured an Arts Council grant this year that has enabled them to offer travel bursaries to publishers travelling from afar, and to issue a book fair anthology that will contain publisher information and contemporary poems.

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