Poetry in the News

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Hello 😊

Here’s your poetry in the news for today, I hope it’s a good one for you!

A great interview with US poetry laureate Tracy K Smith.

Here‘s some really beautiful poems from Steve Straight (love Vincent!).

This is beautiful. The House of Iraqi Poetry, directed by Hosam al-Sarray, is a cultural organisation that is reaching out to young Iraqis and reclaiming the streets with poetry. Beautiful, beautiful, give it a read.

Thom Young’s experiment with ‘pop poetry’ in Instragram has attracted some attention, and in this interview he talks about the need for poetry for the younger generation.

When I first read the headline for this, I laughed a little, thinking it sounded a little ridiculous. A student demanding that her grade be changed to an A and taking them to court to get that done sounds pretty ludicruous, but reading this piece over a couple of times and I’m not sure what I think. Scratch that, I do, I feel a bit like this person makes a mockery of poetry and is stamping their feet because they haven’t got their own way. Poetry is supposed to be all-embracing, liberating, a place to get out those thoughts in your head and let you breathe. By exposing yourself to poetry you don’t necessarily agree with the principles of, well. We can all learn by stepping outside of our comfort zone, can’t we? Poetry is a safe place to do that. And to anyone that would argue that there is a lot of LGBT ‘stuff’ around us at the moment like it’s a big influx out of nowhere, uh, no? Firstly, have we not been shoving heterosexuality in peoples’ faces forever? Secondly, we have always had gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, asexual, non-binary, gender-fluid, and other people in our societies who don’t fit the heteronormative stereotypes that have been instilled on us all our lives; we’ve just ignored them, mocked them, persecuted them, or pushed them into corners so we don’t have to look. Thirdly, have you even seen poetry? Seriously, if you aren’t aware of the ‘hidden’ sexuality in our classics, can’t imagine that some of our most celebrated poets were gay, lesbian or otherwise, well. You might need to do yourself a little research and prepare for a shock (here’s a little heads up for you).

Alright, I’m dismounting my soapbox now, back to more poetry in the news.

Here’s a nice article on poetry as meditation.

Alice Oswald talks about her poetry and winning the International Griffin Poetry prize for her Falling Awake collection.

Trudy Howson dedicates a poem to Hastings Pride.

And finally, 14-year old Olivia Walsh from Manchester has written a poem in response to the attack.

Enjoy the rest of your weeks 😊

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