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Passionate About Poetry

October 2nd, 2015

strawberriesuntitled-blogThanks to Lawrence and Paul for last Friday’s blog; it’s great when people acknowledge that we’ve helped them get their work into print. But in this case, it’s their own enthusiasm for their subject – and the ability to get this across to a publisher – that has really earned them their success!

This week’s post is going to be a celebration of all things poetic as it’s National Poetry Day next Thursday (8th October). Time really seems to fly as it doesn’t seem two minutes since I was writing about last year’s event and it has now been a regular fixture on the calendar since 1994.

This year’s theme is ‘light’ and, as usual, there will be both live events and web-based activities. There’s a free outdoor open mic event at the London Transport Museum plus poems at stations on the Underground, and an afternoon of free readings at the Festival Hall. BBC Radio 4 will interweave their programmes with poetry – their theme will be ‘We British: An Epic in Poetry’, looking at British history and identity.

But it’s not all London-centric; there’ll be things going on in libraries and schools around the country. And if there’s nothing in your area – then why don’t you get a group together and organise something yourself?

I’m not a writer of poetry but I do enjoy reading it, and I came across a beautiful poem by Edwin Morgan recently called Strawberries. It’s one of the most luscious poems I’ve read for a while and it’s lack of punctuation makes it’s fluidity all the more sensuous. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Here at Writers Bureau we’re holding our annual Short Story Competition at the moment, but if I’ve got you in the mood for writing poetry here’s something to keep you going. The Resurgence Poetry Prize bills itself as ‘The World’s First Major Award for Ecopoetry’ – which makes the theme pretty obvious!  Prizes are £5000, £2000 and £1000 – so not to be sneezed at – and the entry fee is £7 for the first poem and £3 for all subsequent entries. Closing date is 1st November, so you’ve still plenty of time.

Incidentally, if you do enjoy entering competitions – short stories, flash fiction, poetry etc – then you might find Freelance Market News useful. Not only does it hold a subscriber’s competition with a £50 prize each month but there is also a full page in every issue showcasing some of the best-paying and most reputable literary competitions.

And on a lighter note, remember Craig Charles? Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, Coronation Street cabbie? It turns out that he’s an expert on funk and soul music, plus a performance poet. He’s just recorded a version of his epic  ‘Scary Fairy and Tales of the Dark Wood’ with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. It will go out the night before Halloween on Radio 2. I suspect it might be an acquired taste, but interesting all the same. Who’d have thought – a true renaissance man!

Nobody has volunteered to be my guest next Friday, so if you’d like to fill the slot, contact me on dianan@writersbureau.com and share your views/tips on writing with a wider audience.

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