A coffee for a poem on World Poetry Day as offer spreads around the globe

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Monday 21 March is World Poetry Day, launched by Unesco in 1999 with the aim of promoting the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world, and to "give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements". Once more, an Austrian coffee roasting company is offering a coffee or tea to customers who hand in a poem on Monday, from Vienna to Shanghai, from Chicago to Hamburg, from London to Dubai, and from Moscow to Istanbul. More than 100,000 people leapt at the offer last year, according to coffee company Julius Meinl. The firm is now making its offer in 34 countries, mostly in central and eastern Europe, but also including locations in London, Edinburgh, the US, Canada and Australia. You can find a map of this year’s participating establishments here.

In Enfield, north London, there’s the launch of a poster exhibition of Anthony Fisher's poem, Londinium, translated into 25 languages. It is to celebrate the 300 languages spoken in London and the 350 English is derived from. A “poetry jukebox” will allow visitors to listen to recordings of the poem in different languages, as well as the English version, in voices from all over the UK and the world. The venue is the Dugdale Centre, in London Road. Entry is free. More details.

In Eastbourne poetry groups from across East Sussex plan to mark World Poetry Day with a “poetry party”. They will be meeting up at the Underground theatre, below Eastbourne central library in Grove Road on Monday evening, with presentations from poetry groups, followed by an open mic. They say: “A special welcome will be extended to anyone visiting or living here from other parts of the world. After the main presentations there will be an open mic where anyone may come forward to share a poem in any form of words or language.” More details.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland a funeral company has chosen National Poetry day to launch its annual poetry competition. Funeral Services Northern Ireland, which is part of the Co-operative Group, will be kicking off this year’s competition at a special event at James Brown and Sons, Newtonards Road, Belfast, beginning at 7pm. It's just a shame the competition is only open to residents of Northern Ireland. More details

◄ The Cycle of the Scarecrow: Ian Whiteley, Currock Press

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