Tag Archives: Poetry News

Poetry News goes to the Circus

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you Nick Makoha for choosing my poem about a Romanian bear sanctuary as one of the winners in this summer’s Poetry Society Members’ Poems Competition.

Sanctuarul Ursilor joins five strong poems by Sue Davies, Jenny Hamlett, N.J. Hynes, Christopher James and Isabella Mead on the centre pages of Poetry News, with an introduction by Nick about why he chose them.

The theme for the competition was ‘Circus’ and it’s fascinating to see how each of the poets bring their own vision and interpretation of the word, from Cornish rituals and Scottish islands, to Galileo’s observations, and my own take on the theme – the imposition of human traits on wild animals in the name of entertainment.

You can read all the winning poems, including Sanctuarul Ursulor, by clicking the following link: Winning Poems 2018

Poetry News (Summer 2018)Nick Makoha is an accomplished poet who won the 2010 Arvon International Poetry Prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection. His poems have appeared in magazines including The Poetry Review, The New York Times and Wasafiri. “A poem is a world unto itself that, when aligned in the right orbit, will hold our gaze and reveal something new,” writes Nick. “The six poems I have chosen have indeed succeeded by shifting me in time or place.”

Not yet a member of The Poetry Society? Don’t miss out! It’s ludicrously good value AND you’ll be able to enter the next Members’ Competition on the theme of ‘Change’. The judge this time is Meryl Pugh. Deadline for entries is August 6th. If you’re a Poetry Society Member and also part of a Stanza Group, you could also enter this year’s Stanza Competition judged by Penelope Shuttle. The theme is ‘tradition’. Both competition are free to enter.  So time to get writing!

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Six reasons to join The Poetry Society

If you’re still not a member of The Poetry Society, here are a few good reasons why you (and your bank account!) might decide to join in the party. It costs as little as £20 a year.

In no particular order – the infamous Stanza Bonanza! StanzaBon (Reading v Clapham)

All over Britain, groups of poets get together at Poetry Society Stanza groups to share work, inspire each other, produce anthologies or perform together in friendly internecine shoot-outs.  Here is last month’s Stanza Bonanza between Clapham – aka Original Poets – (front from left: Tom Vaughan, Nicole Carrell, Tessa Lang, Mark Fiddes, Claire Booker; back far left: Hilaire) and Reading (back from 2nd left: Susan Utting, Louise Ordish, Shelley Connor, Gill Learner, Alan Hester, Ted Millichap).

Poetry CafeOur Bonanza frolics took place in The Poetry Place – another great reason to support the Poetry Society. This bijou building (ok it’s cramped and steamy in summer but a refurb is on the way) is bang smack in the cultural heartland of London’s Covent Garden. Virtually every night there’s an event to enjoy or an exhibition to ponder. The Café provides tasty vegetarian food and a place to write or hang out in. Upstairs there’s a venue for workshops, parties and hard-working Poetry Society staff (also boxes and boxes of poetry books – the nicest possible kind of tripping hazard).

Every member receives a copy of Poetry News, packed with news and views. As a member, you can enter the Member’s Poems competition four times a year. Winners are published in Poetry News and receive a juicy parcel of poetry books. My poem ‘Deadline’ is twinkling away happily in this summer issue. If you’d like to read it, along with the five other winning poems on the theme of Smell, please click: www.poetrysociety.org.uk/membership/members-poems-2/

Poetry News Summer 2016More than £16,000 is give out each year in prize money by the Poetry Society, which runs The National Poetry Competition, The Ted Hughes Award, the Foyle Young Poets of the Year, Slambassadors and numerous others.

Members also have the option of receiving Poetry Review – one the most respected poetry magazines in the English speaking world.  If you hope to be published in its august pages, perhaps take advantage of the Poetry Prescription service available to Poetry Society members at a very reasonable fee. Poets with great track records are available in the four corners of Britain (or by Skype) to read and report back on examples of your poetry. I can highly recommend it from personal experience (thank you Katy Evans Bush!).

Joining the Poetry Society gives a nice warm feeling too, as you’re directly supporting its original, eclectic projects. From canal-sides, supermarkets, football pitches and former battlefields, to schools and arts venues, projects range from ongoing programmes to one-off commissions of new work. The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, The Canal Laureateship, Poems on the Underground, National Poetry Day – all wonderful examples of how the Poetry Society is raising poetry’s profile with people of all ages.

Convinced? Still not sure?  For the full deal, click on: www.poetrysociety.org.uk/ and give some serious thought to joining, supporting, engaging with and using the opportunities that the Poetry Society has been providing to poets and poetry lovers since 1909.  You know it makes sense!

A Brace of Clapham ‘Original Poets’ in Poetry News

heaneyUnfurl the latest copy of Poetry News and you’ll find poems by Claire Booker and Andy Hickmott, selected from among 313 entries to the magazine’s competition on the theme of ‘Unsayable’.

Six poems were selected anonymously by Katrina Porteous, who specialises in radio poetry, and whose new collection, Two Countries’ is due from Bloodaxe in 2014.  This is what she had to say:

‘I didn’t like Seamus Heaney’ by Andy Hickmott shocks, because so many of us loved him. But I think it earns its right to do so. I like it for saying what we think should not be said, and for using that trope to lead us gracefully to what indeed is not said until those quietly devastating last lines.”

‘What Cannot Be Said’ by Claire Booker, nails the detail of intimacy and simply rings true. The rhyming couplets, risky to some modern ears, reinforce the clock’s relentless tick.”

To read either of these poems, or the other four winners (by Suzanna Fitzpatrick, Sue Leigh, Denise McSheehy and Marie Naughton) check out Poetry News (Winter 2013/14) or click on:  http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/content/publications/poetrynews/pn2014/

Andy and Claire both belong to ‘Original Poets’ who meet every month in Clapham, south London, to feedback on poems; whether from long-established writers or those new to poetry.  The ‘Originals’  occasionally perform their work, most recently at ‘Beyond Words’ in Gipsy Hill, ‘Poetry Unplugged’ in Covent Garden’s Poetry Place, and at a legendary Poetry Bonanza event: Clapham versus Brixton.  New members are always most welcome.

For more information on Clapham Original Poets please visit:  Facebook page