93 episodes

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote "a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry". Since then, it has grown into one of Britain's most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes the leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

"The Poetry Society is the heart and hands of poetry in the UK – a centre which pours out energy to all parts of the poetry-body, and a dexterous set of operations which arrange and organise poetry's various manifestations. It has a long distinguished history, and has never been so vital, or so vitalizing as it is now." Sir Andrew Motion

The Poetry Society The Poetry Society

    • Books

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote "a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry". Since then, it has grown into one of Britain's most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 4000 members worldwide and publishes the leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages.

"The Poetry Society is the heart and hands of poetry in the UK – a centre which pours out energy to all parts of the poetry-body, and a dexterous set of operations which arrange and organise poetry's various manifestations. It has a long distinguished history, and has never been so vital, or so vitalizing as it is now." Sir Andrew Motion

    The Gift by Clare Pollard

    The Gift by Clare Pollard

    Each year, the Mayor of Oslo, Norway gifts a Christmas tree to the United Kingdom, in commemoration of the two countries' co-operation in the Second World War. The tree then makes the journey to Trafalgar Square in London, where it's on display throughout the holiday season. And each year, The Poetry Society commissions a leading poet to write a poem to then decorate the tree - with a little help from primary school children all over London!
    This year's poem is called 'The Gift', and was written by Clare Pollard. You'll hear it read by three children, Pashya, Sophia and Stella from St Peter's C of E Primary School, who were amongst the many to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the poem.
    If you're in London at all over Christmas, do go and visit the tree, and see the poem with beautiful artwork by Marcus Walters. It'll be in Trafalgar Square until 6 January.
    We hope you enjoy, and Merry Christmas from all of us at The Poetry Society!

    • 2 min
    Mark Waldron talks to Emily Berry

    Mark Waldron talks to Emily Berry

    In a conversation that will lighten spirits and fire up brain cells, Emily Berry talks to Mark Waldron in the latest Poetry Review podcast. They discuss children’s books, the theatre and performance, Beckett, Ashbery and “meant silliness”. “I like mixing up childhood and adulthood,” says Waldron, “things from childhood I want to resolve – or look at anyway.” His interest is in the separation between inside and outside – “letting the inside out and seeing if people will accept that.” He also offers two wonderful readings of his poems ‘Contingency’ and ‘To Dig’, first published in The Poetry Review, 109:3, Autumn 2019.

    • 29 min
    Stephen Sexton & Kirsten Irving talk poetry and video games

    Stephen Sexton & Kirsten Irving talk poetry and video games

    Stephen Sexton's debut collection If All the World and Love Were Young (Penguin, 2019), navigates childhood, memory, grief and loss through the prism of classic 16-bit video game Super Mario World. Kirsten Irving is a poet and co-editor of Sidekick Books, which has published video game themed anthologies such as Coin Opera and Coin Opera 2. Sexton and Irving joined Oliver Fox in September 2019 to talk about the strange and surprising relationship between their poetry and the world of video games, and read work from their video game themed publications.

    Both Stephen Sexton and Kirsten Irving have been prize winners in the National Poetry Competition: as of this podcast's publication you can still enter the 2019 National Poetry Competition ahead of the 31 October deadline over at bit.ly/natpocomp.

    • 45 min
    Mind the caesura: Poems on the Underground readings

    Mind the caesura: Poems on the Underground readings

    Mona Arshi, Imtiaz Dharker, Maura Dooley and John Hegley read poems of theirs all of which were published onto the walls of London's Tube carriages as part of the popular Poems on the Underground scheme. The four poets also read work by W.B. Yeats, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson and Robert Burns.
    You can order any of the Poems on the Underground posters for free (plus P+P) on The Poetry Society's website: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/product-category/poems-on-the-underground/

    "London Underground, Arriving, A.wav" by InspectorJ (www.jshaw.co.uk) of Freesound.org, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license

    • 6 min
    National Poetry Competition: Mona Arshi and Wayne Holloway-Smith on writing a prize winning poem

    National Poetry Competition: Mona Arshi and Wayne Holloway-Smith on writing a prize winning poem

    Mona Arshi, one of three judges in the 2019 National Poetry Competition, joins Wayne Holloway-Smith, the winner of the 2018 National Poetry Competition, to talk to Oliver Fox about what makes a successful poem. They discuss two prize winning poems from the competition's history: 'Oiled Legs Have Their Own Subtext' by Momtaza Mehri (3rd Prize, 2017), and 'The Body in the Library' by Jane Yeh (commended, 2009). If you'd like to enter the National Poetry Competition for yourself, the deadline for entries is 31 October each year. To find out how to enter, visit poetrysociety.org.uk/npc.

    Links to featured poems:
    'Oiled Legs Have Their Own Subtext' by Momtaza Mehri: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/oiled-legs-have-their-own-subtext

    'The Body in the Library' by Jane Yeh:
    https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/the-body-in-the-library/

    • 40 min
    Ilya Kaminsky talks to Emily Berry

    Ilya Kaminsky talks to Emily Berry

    In the latest Poetry Review podcast, Emily Berry talks to Ilya Kaminsky, author of the astonishing and internationally acclaimed collection Deaf Republic. Their conversation ranges across political poetry (only in English do people try to divide poetry that is political and not political, everywhere else poetry is political, says Kaminsky), of matching your method to show what it is you see as a writer, about the need to witness the good as well as the bad, and the poet as a private person. Kaminsky, born in the former Soviet Union but now an American citizen, describes his unrequited love for English: “sometimes a stranger can make love to the language a little better than the native person... of course it can also be very awkward too”.

    • 35 min

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