Poetry in the News 2008



We were deeply sorry to hear of the death of Adrian Mitchell, Poetry Society Vice President and an inspirational poet and performer. Obituaries may be found in The Guardian and The Times. Video of Adrian reading 'To Whom it May Concern (Tell me lies about Vietnam)' and a tribute video from Bloodaxe here



400th Anniversary of John Milton's Birth



Placido Domingo records musical album based on poetry of Pope John Paul II.



Off By Heart poetry competition launched by BBC.



BBC reports that the launch event of Patrick Jones’ latest book, Darkness is Where the Stars Are was cancelled by Waterstones following a campaign by Christian activists. 


Poetry Society Member Caroline Carver won this year's Poetry on the Lake Silver Wyvern award.  

5 Nov

Poetry Society Member, and Plymouth Stanza Rep, Godfrey Ackers, won this year's Poetry London Competition. Poetry Society Member, Patricia Hann, won third prize.

 31 Oct

The Arvon International Poetry Competition's Classic FM First Prize went to Peter Daniels; Second Prize to Giles Goodland; and Third Prize to Thomas Lynch.

 30 Oct

T S Eliot Prize shortlist announced: Moniza Alvi; Peter Bennet; Ciaran Carson; Robert Crawford; Maura Dooley; Mark Doty; Jen Hadfield; Mick Imlah; Glyn Maxwell; Stephen Romer. Detail on PBS website.

 17 Oct

Mandy Coe and Lesley Saunders share first prize of £10,000 for this year's  Manchester Poetry Prize. Helen Mort, 23, won the £2,000 Manchester Young Poet Prize.

 9 Oct

The Winners of the Foyle Young Poets Award 2008 have been announced - you can read the winning poems here.

 9 Oct

Stop Look and Listen to the Voice of Young Britain: SLAMbassadors UK, the UK’s only professional development ONLINE slam, launches today.

 8 Oct

Mick Imlah's The Lost Leader (Faber) won the Forward Prize for Poetry 2008 (£10,000).  
Kathryn Simmonds won in the best first collection category for Sunday at the Skin Launderette, and Don Paterson's 'Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridzeve', first published in Poetry Review, won the best single poem prize.

 2 Oct

The Poetry Trust announced the shortlist for the 2008 Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for poetry: Paul Batchelor, The Sinking Road (Bloodaxe Books);
Ciaran Berry, The Sphere of Birds (Gallery Press);
Adam Foulds, The Broken Word (Cape Poetry);
Frances Leviston, Public Dream (Picador Poetry); and
Stephanie Norgate, Hidden River (Bloodaxe Books).

 19 Sept

 Exam board AQA has asked schools to withdraw copies of its anthology which contain Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, 'Education for Leisure'. The AQA said their decision followed complaints from teachers about the poem’s reference to knives. Many teachers have expressed concern at the decision. Carol Ann Duffy has written a new poem, 'Mrs Schofield’s GCSE', in response.

 19 Sept

The autumn issue of Poetry Review: Where now for Political Culture? is out now.

 17 Sept

21-year-old poet Caroline Bird, a former winner of the Poetry Society's Young Poets Award, is on the shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize.  She is the only poet on the shortlist for the £60,000 prize which is awarded to a writer under the age of 30. 



The Sunday Telegraph has launched a competition for Poetry for Performance. Nine winners in three different age-group categories will have their poems performed by professional actors at the Rose Theatre in Kingston, as well as being published in the newspaper. The closing date is 5 October 2008.

 12 Aug

The poet Mahmoud Darwish died on 9 August at the age of 67. He published over 20 collections and his honours include the Lenin Peace Prize, a Lannan Award, a French Knighthood for Arts & letters and the Prinz Claus Award. An obituary appears in the Guardian.

 7 Aug

Colette Bryce's poem, 'The Full Indian Rope Trick' , has won the Poetry Society's online poll to find the most popular winner of the National Poetry Competition. The competition is now in its 31st  year and the deadline for entries is 31 October.

 4 Aug

The shortlist for the Forward Prize for Poetry 2008 has been announced. The six collections nominated for the biggest prize (£10,000) are Sujata Bhatt's Pure Lizard (Carcanet), Jane Griffiths's Another Country (Bloodaxe), Jen Hadfield's Nigh-No-Place (Bloodaxe), Mick Imlah's The Lost Leader (Faber), Jamie McKendrick's Crocodiles & Obelisks (Faber) and Catherine Smith's Lip (Smith/Doorstop).

Simon Barraclough, Andrew Forster, Frances Leviston, Allison McVety, Stephanie Norgate and Kathryn Simmonds are on the shortlist for the best first collection category, and Don Paterson's 'Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridzeve', first published in Poetry Review, is among those shortlisted for the best single poem prize.

 31 July

The Times Literary Supplement has launched a poetry competition with a first prize of £2,000. Readers will vote for the winning poem from a selected shortlist. The closing date is 12 September.

 7 July

Poet Dannie Abse has won the Wales Book of the Year Award for his memoir, The Presence (Hutchinson).  

 30 June

Gill Learner has won the Hamish Canham Poetry Prize 2008 for the best members' poem to be published in Poetry News.



The poet Elizabeth Bartlett has died aged 84. She published her first collection of poetry in her mid-fifties, and her most recent, Mrs Perkins and Oedipus (Bloodaxe), on her eightieth birthday. An obituary appears in The Telegraph.



John Burnside, David Harsent, John Greening and Sarah Maguire have been awarded Cholmondeley Awards, worth £2000 each, by the Society of Authors. In the same awards ceremony, Emily Berry, Rhiannon Hooson, James Midgley, Adam O’Riordan and Heather Phillipson received Eric Gregory Awards, given for a collection of poems by a poet under the age of 30.



The Edge of Love, a film about Dylan Thomas's relationship with two women, starring Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys (who plays Thomas), opens tomorrow.



A plaque dedicated to the poet Lotte Moos, who died in January this year, will be unveiled today at the house in which she used to live in Hackney, East London.



John Ashbery has won the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize for his collection, Notes From the Air: Selected Later Poems (Harper-Collins/Ecco). 

 21 May

John Hegley presented the 2007 English Association's Fellows' Poetry Prizes to Tony Flynn (first prize), Kim Rooney (second prize) and Peter Cash and Simon Jackson (joint third prize).

 19 May

Jane Weir has won first prize in the Wigtown Poetry Competition, Scotland's largest poetry prize.

 15 May

The Poetry Book Society and Apples & Snakes launch Soundblast, an online shop for CDs from UK-based performance poets, today.

 15 May

The poet Robert Greacen has died at the age of 87. His Collected Poems won the Irish Times literature prize for poetry in 1995. A New and Selected Poems was published in 2006. An obituary appeared in the Guardian.

 12 May

Welsh poet and playwright Gillian Clarke is holding an online poetry workshop this month, hosted by the Guardian. 

 12 May

Yang Lian, who will be reading in the Poetry Society's Under the Influence series, is appearing with W N Herbert in the Yellow Mountain Poetry Festival  - an evening of Chinese poetry in translation - at London's Royal Festival Hall on 7 June, 2008. 

 2 May

Novels by the award-winning poets John Burnside and Gee Williams are both on the shortlist for this year's James Tait Black Memorial Prize. 

 22 April

Poet Dannie Abse's memoir, The Presence (Hutchinson), is on the shortlist for the English Pen/Ackerley prize. The winner will be announced on 10 June.

 21 Apr

The shortlist for the International Griffin Poetry Prize comprises John Ashbery, Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems (HarperCollins Publishers/Ecco); David Harsent, Selected Poems 1969-2005 (Faber); Elaine Equi, Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press); Clayton Eshleman, translating from the Spanish by César Vallejo, The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition (University of California Press). The winner of the C$50,000 prize will be announced on 4 June 2008.

 15 Apr

The Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition 2008  is now open for entries! This year's judges are Frieda Hughes, Jack Mapanje and Brian Patten. Find out more.

 8 Apr

We are extremely sad and sorry to report that poet, writer and dramatist E.A. Markham has died (on 23 March, in Paris). His memoir, Against the Grain, is due out soon from Peepal Tree Press and a Selected Poems was published by Salt in 2003. E.A. Markham was a judge for the Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition 2007.

 4 Apr

Sinead Morrissey appears on The Verb Friday 4 April at 21.45 on BBC Radio 3; she reads her award winning poem 'Through The Square Window' and talks about it with Ian McMillan.




 Gillian Clarke will succeed Professor Gwyn Thomas as the National Poet of Wales.



Neetha Kunaratnam has won the 2007 Geoffrey Dearmer Prize.



The spring issue of Poetry Review is out now.

The winning poems from the National Poetry Competition 2007 will be published in the Independent on Sunday on 30 March.


The latest broadsheet to launch a poetry series is The Telegraph, with 'English Poetry Masters', introduced by Sam Leith. The first poet to be featured is Geoffrey Chaucer.


In today's Guardian Sean O'Brien launches a series on 'Great Poets of the 20th Century' with a feature on contemporary attitudes towards the canon. 


In today's Independent, Boyd Tonkin launches a 14-day series on 'The Great Poets'  with an essay on contemporary poetry and the canon, and Andrew Motion, Bonnie Greer, Rowan Williams and Andy Burnham MP talk about the poems that changed their lives.

 11 Feb

Manchester Metropolitan University's Writing School has launched the inaugural Manchester Poetry Prize, a major new poetry award. The deadline for entries is 1 August and the winner will receive £10,000.

 11 Feb

The Times/Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry Translation is now open for entries. The closing date is 23 May.


 8 Feb

A new Poetry Café, modelled on the Poetry Society's café in Covent Garden, is due to launch next week in Liverpool as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations. The Costa Liverpool Poetry Cafe is at Costa Coffee's Bold Street store. The opening night - 11 February - has the theme of 'Celebrating the City'.


 4 Feb

Daljit Nagra won the Arts Council/decibel award at last night's South Bank Show Awards for his first collection, Look We Have Coming to Dover (Faber).  The title poem from the collection was published in Poetry Review.

 15 Jan

Last night Sean O'Brien was announced as the winner of the 2007 T.S. Eliot Prize. The Judges, Peter Porter, W.N. Herbert and Sujata Bhatt picked O'Brien's The Drowned Book from a very distinguished shortlist.

 4 Jan

Jean Sprackland has won the poetry category of the Costa Book Awards with her third collection, Tilt (Cape).

 3 Jan

Henri Chopin (1922 - 2007) passed away at his home in England. He was one of the pioneers of Sound Poetry, and will be sadly missed. Read and hear more about Chopin at Ubu web.