Poetry in the News


Hello 😊

Here’s your poetry in the news for this week.

Matthew Zapruder has a new book coming out entitled Why Poetry, which speculates on the teaching – and learning – of poetry, and how we might have got it wrong. As someone who has always huffed suspiciously at the idea of there only ever being one true, definitive interpretation of a poem – usually decided by scholarly folk who often overlook things they don’t want to see in a poem in favour of the things they do – this book sounds like a little cheer of comraderie. Let people find whatever ‘hidden meanings’ they find in the words of a poem! Read the article here

More of this please! In New Delhi poets Sabika Abbas Naqvi and Shrenik Mutha perform Poetry at the Metro; covering subjects such as gender, feminism, facism and right-wing politics.

I have to admit, this next article was an education for me, exposed me for the ignorant thing I am. I discovered slam/spoken word poetry what has to be two, or three years ago now, and whilst it’s not something I could do myself (though I’d love to, just, people+stage=nightmare for me), I have grown to love seeing it perform. And until reading this article I had never considered that slam poetry could be performed by ASL artists. What. An. Idiot. I’m off to educate myself more because this article about ASL Slam has really opened my eyes, have a read and see if it does the same for you!

After the terror attack in Finsbury Park this week, poet and mental health spokesperson Hussain Manawer talks about the need for promoting harmony and love in the wake of these horrid attacks. It’s a really good article, please give it a read.

And finally, this is a beautiful article by Cyrus Shahrad talking about his father reciting poetry, and how important poetry is in Iranian culture. I can’t justify how good it is, go and give it a read for yourself.

I hope you’re all having good weeks!


Poetry in the News


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 😊

Poetry in the News


Morning all 😊

It’s a great haul for poetry in the news again, there are so many good stories I was a little spoilt for choice, so here’s just a handful of them.

This year sees the third run of Poetic Licence in Melbourne, with Outer Urban Project’s artistic director Irine Vela using the platform to show the true voices of Australia. This is a really good interview with Irine that looks at the rise of poetry and how it’s intergenerational. More, please!

Rugby Library will next week host a poetry event to mark the beginning of Refugee Week (17th June), the theme of which is ‘Different Pasts, Shared Future’.

At the Ledbury Poetry Festival, sign language is making its first appearance in the event’s 21 year history. There is an interview with Festival artistic director, Chloe Garner who talks about celebrating sign language poetry and deaf and disabled writers, and promotes the anthology Stairs & Whispers, the collection the festival has been inspired to make a special event out of, called Air Poems in the Key of Voice. Poetry will be signed in British Sign Language by Kyra Pollitt. I would really love to attend this!

I have a new poetry hero this week. 7th grader Olivia Vella‘s slam poetry for an assignment to prepare a monologue on something the class was passionate about has now received more than 200000 views online. Beautiful, honest, and informed. The student from the Queen Creek Middle School in Arizona speaks about girls being good enough, despite so many things in our society trying to tell us otherwise. Olivia, you are incredible!

Another amazing young poet that deserves acknowledgement is Vanessa Tahay. Tahay is just 18 yet is considered one of the best poets in LA, and has competed in slams in LA, San Francisco and Washington DC. Seek her work out and give her a listen; I challenge you not to be moved by what she has to say.

In 2009 Pezo Johnson started Pain on Paper/Poems over Pistols, a program that combines the skills of rapping, poetry and music for teenagers in Portland. His interview talks about the success of the program and why it’s so important to find a place for turning anger away from violence to something positive.

Here’s a really lovely interview with Mancunian poet Tony Walsh/Longfella following his recital of his poem This Is The Place at the vigil following the Manchester attack.

And finally, the Banksy of Poetry has apparently struck again with a new verse for a hairdresser in Norwich, although to me, the word strike doesn’t really seem synonymous with beautifully written words…

Enjoy your weeks!

Poetry in the News


Good Morning! There is a ton of poetry in the news today. Let’s get started 😉

Poetry, What Poetry with Robert Bound in the Monacle, talks to Joe Dunthorne about the importance of poetry. There’s also a look at poetry promotion around the world.

This article from Sky News talks about how poets are reaching people where politicians aren’t. Maybe if politicians had to think before they speak like poets do when they’re choosing the perfect words for what they want to say, we’d live in a better world…

Stef Shaw, dubbed the most patriotic cabbie in Glasgow, pens a poem about the Manchester attack.

US poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera ran four workshops over the past year for Chicago’s ninth grade teachers, and in this video he talks about his project to give Chicago’s youth a voice.

And whilst we’re on the subject of giving voices, the EDP and Briar Chemicals’ Young Poets of the Year contest returns as part of the Norwich-based Briar’s Science in Schools programme, giving young poets a chance to speak their minds.

Brian Sonia-Wallace becomes the first Writer-in-Residence for the Mall of America. Here’s a little background to the poet.

Luke Wright talks about what inspired his poetry as he prepares for an evening at The Lighthouse in Poole.

Here’s a really nice interview with Canadian poet Rupi Kaur with lots of examples of her work in case you’ve not had the chance to see it.

Slam poet Zodwa Nyoni talk about her projects past and present in the lead up to her Ode To Leeds production at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

And finally from Robert Lowell in Time, why the 60s was the era of poetry.

Happy weeks to you all!

Poetry In The News


Morning all!

I hope your weeks are going well.

There’s a lot of poetry in the news this week!

Here is a beautiful interview with Petr Lom talking about the film Burma Storybook, which, after reading the article, I would really love to see. (Here’s the trailer with English subtitles)

For May’s Asian Pacific Heritage Month, the Asian Pacific Student Programs hosted Urban Roots of Poetic Justice: A Spoken Word Event, and this article talks about the performance.

Kenneth Chacón is a teacher and poet; this article talks about his road to get there and it’s a really good read. It’s hopeful and inspiring, so if you’re looking for some of that today, give this a read.

Here’s an interview with Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye; excuse me whilst I fangirl!

A multi-dimentional poetry installation organised by the Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan is discussed here, where poems are presented as art as well as being recited.

On June 12th it’s the annual Poetry Walk Across The Brooklyn Bridge, with Bill Murray! Bill Murray is such a poetry champion, and has rarely missed this event.

Mid West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum (MWRDAF), in association with the Limerick Writers’ Centre, are launching an anthology entitled Voices from the Cave – an anthology of poems about addiction and recovery in Limerick today, (Wednesday 17th May). This launch article for the event is really interesting; give it a read.

Make Poetry Great Again, by Norway’s Chris Felt, takes all of the wisdom of Trump and turns it into poetry:

“What Trump says is closer to poetry and fiction than to reality,” said the Norwegian man who created the collection, Chris Felt.

Definitely worth looking at…

And finally, for those of us who seek a little solace but don’t find the idea of meditating appealing, try poetry. Specifically, try memorising and reciting poetry. This article by Allie Esiri talks about the mindfulness of poetry, and even gives you advice on how to memorise and keep poetry in your head. I think that’s beautiful.

Enjoy the rest of your weeks 😊

Poetry In The News



Let’s see what’s on offer in the midst of the Doom And Gloom (aka News) today, then.

Jaspreet Kaur, secondary school teacher by profession, slam poet by passion, here is a voice for inspiring women and affecting social change. Beautiful, beautiful words.

A long, informative read about Osip Mandelstam and how it was to be a poet under Stalin’s regime.

Monica Payne brings Wislawa Szymborska’s poetry to the stage.

The Stratford Poetry Festival is coming up soon; here’s some of the things to look forward to.

And finally, have you read/heard of In Praise Of Air by Simon Armitage? This is a poem that has been printed on a material that purifies its surroundings using catalytic oxidation – so if anyone tries to claim science can’t be poetic: wrong! The poem is now being auctioned off to raise money for lung disease in the UK.

I hope your weeks are going well!

Poetry in the News


Hello 😊

An eclectic mix of poetry in the news today!

In no particular order:

The winner of the Brunei International African Poetry Prize, which talks about LGBT criminalisation and masculinity in the face of that.

Appalachian poetry: not all nostalgia and tradition! This is a really nice article, give it a read.

Listening to poetry does something to you. Read this article in Seeker; seriously, a discussion on the important of poetry conducted with scientific experiments? A picture of Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton? The benefits of reading poetry? This ticks a lot of boxes!

And finally, how Coleridge got his eye in for writing his poetry. I did not know that. I mean I don’t know why I didn’t know that, but I didn’t. Curious. We all have our ways!

Happy Weeks to you all 😊