Friday, 28 June 2013

Current Recommended Poetry Competitions (Free and Fee-Based)

Rialto Magazine - Nature Poetry Competition 

Closing Date: 30th September 2013

Competion is run in partnership with the RSPB, and will be judged by poet and broadcaster Ruth Padel.The poetry magazine and Europe's largest conservation charity are encouraging poets to submit work in response to the competition theme, 'Nature Poetry'. Prizes: Publication in The Rialto, 1st Prize £1000, 2nd Prize £400, 3rd Prize a place on a creative writing course at Ty Newydd in 2014 (worth £540).
Entry Fee: £6 for the first poem and £3 for each subsequent poem
Contact: For rules and to enter visit:
For further information: Matt Howard, RSPB and a member of The Rialto's Advisory Board, 01603 697515 or

National Poetry Competition 2013 

Closing Date: 31st October 2013

Prizes:First Prize: £5000, Second Prize: £2000, Third Prize: £1000, Seven Commendations: £100. The top-three winning poems will be published in Poetry Review. The winner is also invited to read at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2014. Up to 150 entrants will also be offered a discount on selected activities from the Poetry School. Winning and commended poems will be published on the Poetry Society website when the competition prizes are announced in spring 2014. Judges: The judges of the 2013 National Poetry Competition are Julia Copus, Matthew Sweeney and Jane Yeh. The National Poetry Competition is an award for individual poems that are previously unpublished.
Entry Fee: £6 for first entry, £3.50 for subsequent entries Contact: Postal Entries: National Poetry Competition, The Poetry Society,22 Betterton Street, London, WC2H 9BX, UK
Enter online:

The Colour of Saying - Dylan Thomas Creative Writing Competition 

Closing Date: 27th April 2014

For ages 10 to adult. Responses invited to the poem 'The Hunchback in the Park'. They can be in poetry, prose-poems, prose, diary form, and letter form. The best of the submissions will be judged by international writers/translators and published in an anthology which will appear on the 27th October 2014, the centenary of
Dylan Thomas's birth. The remainder of the submissions will appear in phases on website. Part of the remit of the competition is to encourage trauma or war victims, prisoners, abused wives or husbands, immigrants or refugees to a new country who do not speak the country's language and so entries are welcome in the writer's mother tongue (whatever the language is) or in the writer's dialect, together with (if possible) an English translation. Submissions are limited to one page each for the original and translation. Please see website for full details.
Entry Fee: £0.00 Contact: Submissions must be sent to
as a word attachment, which should include the age of the entrant and contact details.


Thursday, 27 June 2013

Poetry Book Recommendation: ‘I Wandered As Lonely As A Cloud … and Other Poems You Half Remember From School’

‘I Wandered As Lonely As A Cloud … and Other Poems You Half Remember From School’
By Ana Sampson
Published by Michael O’Mara Books
RRP £5.99 (paperback)
ISBN 9781782430124

This is a great collection for any poetry lover – and if you have a sentence from a school-days’ poem that you can’t remember for the life of you which poem it is quoted from, then this is the book you need!

From Chaucer, Shakespeare, Browning, Pope and Keats to Duffy, Larkin and Auden – this book spans the ages right up to modern day. It print the poems in full or a decent extract of, gives you a bit of info on the poet and the poet’s era, explains poetic forms and techniques as you read through making it much more than another collection of poems. It’s well-thought out and presented, and an enjoyable read.

Highly recommended for readers of all ages.

For further information on the author and book please visit Michael O'Mara Books' Website.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Vote Now for The Wales Book of the Year Award 2013 "The People's Choice Prize"

Following the online announcement of the Wales Book of the Year 2013 Short List in May, the readers of Wales are making their way to the Wales Online website to vote for their favourite book on the Short List in the People’s Choice Prize poll.
Last year’s People’s Choice Prize winner, poet Philip Gross wrote a poem in praise of his specially commissioned trophy which is testiment to the importance of The People’s Choice Prize to each Shortlisted author.

If you are yet to cast your vote, don’t worry – you still have time. Why not watch the Short List announcement, read about the shortlisted books and vote on the Wales Online website by following this link. Whilst surfing the Wales Online website, you can also read articles by some of the 2013 shortlisted authors explaining the reasons they became authors. Watch out for the next instalments in the Western Mail Weekend magazine each Saturday in the run-up to the ceremony on 18th July, as well as on the Wales Online website.

Source: Literature Wales

Friday, 21 June 2013

A Poet Turned Publisher: Guest Blog by Elaine Ewart

They’d arrived. I felt a thrill of excitement as the man at the printers’ slit open the box so I could see the books. And wow. Dafila Scott’s beautiful pastel drawing and Karen Harvey’s eye-catching cover design drew the eye. I pulled a copy out, opened it, had a sniff (doesn’t everyone?) of the freshly printed pages and pored over the text. I was too excited to take it in but the page numbers looked ok, they’d printed the right version, the text was aligned well on the page. It looked like a proper book. Short, yes. Only thirty pages: but thirty smart, professional pages, worthy of the poetic talents of our fifteen contributing poets. Words for Wide Skies: A Poetry Anthology. And I’d published it myself.

I’d deliberately chosen not to go down the route of print on demand companies on the internet. These websites will enable you to publish your book at a low financial risk, which can be helpful for a niche market. However, on closer inspection, the unit cost is typically high. Plus, you don’t have the benefit of physical copies to put in a shop, and you have limited control over the design. Hmm, not for me, I thought.

Instead, I’d gone to a local printers, who had given me a very reasonable quote, and said, ‘This is what I want; here is the text layout, and this is the cover,’ and they’d done it.  

It really was as simple as that.

That’s not to say it was not a lot of hard work. Since initially discussing the idea of a nature poetry anthology with the staff at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Welney and my fellow editor Karen Harvey, a vast amount of work has been done: preparing a timetable, applying for funding, making a call for submissions and publicizing it, arranging the launch, selecting the poems, replying to everyone – and now the copies were here (phew!) sending out press releases, arranging reviews, logistics… All sorts of things.

But the point is, although it is hard work, it is not magic. If you’re willing to put that work in, are fanatically stubborn and eye-wateringly pedantic over proofs and will hover over your pet project like anxious mother hen because you love poetry and poets and, (good though blogs are) really, really, love a nice poetry book as a beautiful physical object, then you can make it happen.

And, importantly, it will happen with a very small initial investment which will enable copies to be sold at an attractive price. Five pounds was my target sale price – high enough for a decent profit for WWT Welney, to raise funds for their conservation work, but low enough for people visiting the reserve to say, well, why not?  Why not buy a nice book of poems?

Why not indeed.

© Elaine Ewart, 2013

Elaine Ewart is a poet and former Fenland Poet Laureate.  She blogs at  

Words for Wide Skies, a nature poetry anthology with a Fenland theme, edited and published by Elaine Ewart, is being launched at the WWT Welney reserve on Friday 21st June and will be available from WWT Welney from that date, price £5.  All profits go to the conservation work at WWT Welney.  For further details, contact WWT Welney by telephone 01353 860711 or by e-mail:

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Family Arts Festival launched – leading institutions join together for first UK-wide arts festival for families!

It has today been announced that the first ever Family Arts Festival will take place this autumn, from 18 October to 3 November, with leading arts venues and institutions including the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Sadler’s Wells, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Museum of London, Bournemouth Pavilion, Leeds College of Art, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and Palace Theatre, The Lowry, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Bristol Hippodrome, Cambridge Corn Exchange, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, the Curve Theatre in Leicester, Liverpool Empire and Philharmonic Hall, Sage Gateshead, Sunderland Empire, Glasgow’s King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, Edinburgh Playhouse, St David’s Hall Cardiff, Belfast Grand Opera House, Derry/Londonderry Millennium Forum, London’s West End theatres and many many more venues all programming events to entertain family audiences.

The Family Arts Festival will be the first UK-wide festival including theatre, dance, music and visual arts events designed to increase family participation in the arts and building on the momentum of the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad. The website for the Festival,, has launched today with full details of over 400 events already confirmed to be part of the family Festival celebrations. Further shows, concerts, workshops and open days will be added over the summer with more than 1,000 events expected to make up the UK-wide family arts extravaganza by the time the Festival starts on 18 October.

Music events already confirmed include the London Symphony Orchestra’s ‘Discover Berlioz’ events where audiences can spend the morning at the Barbican watching conductor Valery Gergiev put the Orchestra through its paces in an open rehearsal of the work of French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz, and the afternoon attending talks from leading experts and chamber music performances at LSO St Luke’s. Serious will present Natalie Williams and some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians in a fun-filled family afternoon leading the audience through some of the best-loved jazz classics from down the years at artsdepot in North Finchley. Other events include Britten’s The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra presented by the London Philharmonic Orchestra & CBeebies' Chris Jarvis at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and a riotous ride with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on boats, bikes, cars, carriages, roads, sails, ships, shoes, hooves and a yellow submarine at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.  In Northern Ireland NI Opera will tour Gerald Barry’s award-winning opera based on Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ to Belfast and Derry/Londonderry.

Theatres across the UK are programming special productions and events for families, with the Crewe Lyceum Theatre staging family favourite ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’, a new promenade performance ‘Muse Of Fire’ for families at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Reduced Shakespeare Company in Birmingham, a special Blood Brothers Q&A in Liverpool and Wimbledon, a performance of Michael Morpurgo’s ‘The Butterfly Lion’ in Nottingham, family singing workshops taking place in ATG theatres across London’s West End and a performance of ‘Charlie and Lola's Extremely New Play’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton. The Barbican will throw open its doors to intrepid adventurers who will be able to discover the secrets of the Barbican through a cryptic clue solving, drawing and games adventure trail for families.

Dance highlights include Gobbledegook in association with MOKO Dance’s staging of ‘In A Deep Dark Wood’, an interactive show about a girl who bravely ventures into a mysterious wood, at Sadler's Wells and Lakeside Nottingham, a Baby Boogie Disco at Pegasus in Oxford, The State Ballet Academy of Belarus in Berwick with their ballet classic for the whole family ‘The Nutcracker’, a dance and design adventure in Milton Keynes, a family day hosted by Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Sunderland Empire, and English National Ballet life drawing and family workshops in Oxford.

The great range of visual arts activities includes print making at the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham, pumpkin carving for Hallowe’en at the Baltic in Gateshead, gargoyle painting with This Art of Mine in Maidstone and three days of varied painting and making at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds inspired by its production of ‘A Jungle Book’.

The Family Arts Festival has also joined forces with the Campaign for Drawing’s Big Draw. Launched in 2000, The Big Draw is dedicated to showing that drawing is accessible, fun and invaluable in education and everyday life. Big Draw events in the Family Arts Festival include the opportunity to become an aviation artist at the Royal Air Force Museum in London, workshops to create your own futuristic super hero or villain at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, a Quentin Blake-inspired drawing workshop at the Herbert Gallery & Museum in Coventry, and kids will turn the conceptual art world upside down in JW3’s ‘Turnip Prize’ in London.

Find full details of all the events already confirmed at

The Family Arts Festival has been introduced following extensive research undertaken by the Family Arts Campaign which revealed that 55% of families believe there is a need for focus on family friendly activities at a specific time of year; however only 28% of families think there are enough high quality activities for families, and 35% of families do not find it easy to find out about appropriate activities. The research also highlighted that half of all families think there is a need to create work for older and young people to enjoy together and 79% of families agree that there is a need for a family friendly badge to recognise an agreed standard. The Family Arts Campaign and Festival are initiatives of The Association of British Orchestras, The Theatrical Management Association, The Society of London Theatre, the Independent Theatre Council, the Visual Arts & Galleries Association and Dance UK, and are funded by Arts Council England.

Kathryn McDowell, Family Arts Board Chair and Managing Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, said: “The research undertaken by the Family Arts Campaign shows a clear desire from the public for a festival that brings together imaginative arts initiatives programmed for the enjoyment of people across the generations. We’re delighted by the response of the sector to this campaign and to have 200 of the UK’s arts venues, both great and small, programming work for this Festival shows the arts sector wants to build on the audience development opportunities London 2012 presented us.

“The Family Arts Festival will be a fantastic programme of events for families taking place the length and breadth of the UK in our leading arts venues. By launching the Family Arts Festival website today we are providing an online resource for families to find great events happening near them that will be suitable for their families.”  

Leaders from arts venues, institutions and organisations from across the UK attended a Family Arts Conference at the Town Hall Birmingham in April where they were asked by Festival organisers to break down barriers to participation for families.

David Brownlee, Family Arts Campaign Director, said: ‘When we asked arts organisations to put on events that would be attractive to family members of all ages, we also stressed the need to look again at how welcoming they are to families.   I’m thrilled that all our partners have responded with such a fantastic programme and we are now working with a range of performing and visual arts organisations from up and down the land to set new standards in putting families at the centre of our work.  This autumn we will also be launching the Family Arts Festival Awards where audiences and participants can vote for their best experiences.’

The Campaign and Festival have been made possible by a major Lottery grant from Arts Council England.  Chief Executive Alan Davey commented: ‘The arts offer a space for people of all ages to spend time together, to have fun, to learn new things about each other as well as the world around them, and to build a stronger sense of community. This is why our investment in the Family Arts Campaign is so important in not only encouraging families to access the vast array of exciting arts events that take place up and down the country, but also to help arts organisations improve and build upon their offer to families.’

The Family Arts Festival is part of a wider programme, The Family Arts Campaign. Supported by Arts Council England the campaign aims to support organisations in providing high quality family friendly events. The initiative has been devised in consultation with over 1,000 arts professionals and 2,000 families. More details can be found at

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

To Sing Away the Darkest Days by Norbert Hirschhorn - new poetry collection available now!

Published by Holland Park Press
RRP £8.99
ISBN 978-1-907320-35-4 

To Sing Away the Darkest Days is the culmination of a five-year project which saw Norbert Hirschhorn source more than one thousand Yiddish songs.

Ruth Rubin, pioneer archivist of Yiddish folksong, wrote: ‘Yiddish folksongs are in a vernacular closest to the popular speech of the folk.’

For Norbert they helped him to rediscover and trace his own Jewish cultural history. However, some of the songs ‘spoke’ to him as a poet and begged for a new translation, or ‘re-imagining’ as he calls it, into English poems.

The resulting collection of poems tells the story of the emigrant, the Jew in the Diaspora. Norbert adds his unique view: he personalises the Diaspora, and at the same time brings a vanished culture back to life. The collection is funny and poignant and captures the Jewish experience, but the struggle and questioning of the poet add an extra dimension.

To Sing Away the Darkest Days is not only a wonderful collection of poems but also a necessary historical document.

The Quantum Rebbe

Nu, Einstein, with your ferret’s brain,
come sit at our Rebbe’s table and learn
a thing or two. So you made a rocket

to shoot at the stars? Which makes you
a wonder? Ha! Our Rebbe opens his
umbrella and he’s dancing on Mars.

You discovered relativity? Our Rebbe can fly
faster than light to greet the shabbos bride
from the previous night, returns looking younger.

Don’t beat the kettle about your Big Bang!
Who do you think was virtually there when G-d,
Master of the Universe, created time, heaven, earth!

And when the moshiyekh, the Anointed One,
comes to rebuild our Temple, our Rebbe will be
alongside – sanctifying, cantillating, praying.

© Norbert Hirschhorn 2013

About the Author

Norbert Hirschhorn is a physician specializing in international public health, commended in 1993 by President Bill Clinton as an ‘American Health Hero.’ He now lives in London and Beirut. His poems have been published in over three dozen journals, ten anthologies, four pamphlets, and three full collections: A Cracked River, Slow Dancer Press, London, 1999; Mourning in the Presence of a Corpse, Dar al-Jadeed, Beirut, 2008; Monastery of the Moon, Dar al-Jadeed, Beirut, 2012. His work has won a number of prizes in the US and UK. 

You can find out more about Norbet and his work at Holland Park Press' website.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Death Is Nothing At All by Canon Henry Scott-Holland (1847-1918)

Death Is Nothing At All

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

By Henry Scott-Holland (1847-1918)
Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral
In loving memory of Doris Hawkins who passed away on the 25th May 2013, aged 85. Wife, Mother, Grandmother. Always in our hearts. R.I.P.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Free Worlds Festival Readings on the 18th, 19th and 21st June 2013 at Writers' Centre Norwich

Tues 18th June, 4pm, Norwich Cathedral Hostry, The Weston Room
Weds 19th June, 4pm, Norwich Cathedral Hostry, The Weston Room
Fri 21st June, 4.30-6pm, UEA Drama Studio

Come along to one or all of this series of readings from brilliant international writers; perfect for students, writers, and eager readers. Taking place across three days the events offer fresh writing and inspiration and feature Rozalie Hirs, Rachida Lamrabet, Bejan Matur, Marcel Möring, Neel Mukherjee, Pedro Carmona Alvarez, Michelle de Kretser, Masashi Matsuie, Michael Emmerich, Ruth Ozeki, Tash Aw, Chandrahas Choudhury, Melissa Lucashenko and Zhang Yueran.

For further information please visit Writers' Centre Norwich's website.

Book your free place now to experience new literature and meet new writers.

About the Writers:
Rozalie Hirs is a poet and composer. She has written five collections of poetry, and has had her music performed by the Bozzini Quartet and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Visit Rozalie’s website.

Rachida Lamrabet is a Moroccan-Belgian writer who has written three novels; all in Dutch. Her writing examines identity and belonging.
Read an article in the Guardian by Rachida.

Bejan Matur is a poet and journalist, who also works as an expert council focussing on conflict resolution. Her poetry has been translated into 24 languages.
Visit Bejan’s website. (Turkish)
Follow Bejan Matur on Twitter @bejanmatur

Marcel Möring is an award-winning playwright and novelist, and has been described as ‘Holland’s most famous writer’. Translations of his work have been published in more than 15 countries.
Visit Marcel’s website. (Dutch)

Neel Mukherjee’s debut novel, A Life Apart, won the Vodafone-Crossword Award and the Writers’ Guild of UK Award for best novel. His second novel The Lives of Others will be published in May 2014.
Visit Neel’s website

Source: Writers' Centre Norwich

Friday, 14 June 2013

Call for Submissions: William Soutar Writing Prize 2013

This is an annual competition held in honour of Perth’s greatest poet. Now in its twelfth year, it attracts writers from across the globe, as far afield as India and South Africa. It alternates between poetry and short stories; for 2013, poems may be entered. Previous winners of this prestigious competition have gone on to enjoy further success including having their work published. 

Entry is free and open to anyone in the world over the age of 16, but individuals are limited to two poems.

This year’s judge is Brian Johnstone, who is a Scottish poet.

First Prize:  An Arvon Writing course at Moniack Mhor (for which the normal fee would be approximately £600), or another of the UK Arvon Centres. The winner will be announced on Writers’ Day, Saturday 31st August 2013, at the AK Bell Library Perth.

Second Prize:  £100 Book Tokens.

Local Prize: A local prize of £50 will also be awarded for the best work from a resident of Perth and Kinross.

  • The deadline for all entries is Tuesday 2nd July 2013.
  • All entrants must be 16 years of age or over.
  • Poems must not exceed 40 lines.
  • A maximum of two poems may be submitted.
For more details see  

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Call for Submissions for LONE STARS MAGAZINE

The Great 2013 One-Liner Contribution

 "By what words do you want to be known?" by Milo Rosebud

Poets and Writers:

We have space available in the margins of our magazine.

Send us your best one-line quotation(s) from your own works, for consideration of publication in our magazine's pages.


  "I am a Child of the Universe."  by Terry Lee

  One line per submission entry.

  Limited to 80 spaces per line.

  Enter as many times as you wish.

  Typed the way you want to see it in-print.

  Name and address on each page.

  Using one-time rights.

  Authors retain all rights.

  Publication notice upon printing.

  Submission deadline June 30th 2013
Email entries and any enquiries to:

Bloodaxe Books archive returns to Newcastle University

Thirty-five years ago poetry lover Neil Astley set up his own publishing house from an admin office on the Newcastle University campus. From these humble beginnings, Bloodaxe Books would become one of the most important contemporary poetry publishers in the world, giving a voice and in many cases a break, to leading writers, including Simon Armitage, Helen Dunmore, Tony Harrison and Benjamin Zephaniah; major figures in world poetry such as Mahmoud Darwish, Miroslav Holub and Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer; and Newcastle University’s own Bill Herbert, Jackie Kay and Sean O’Brien.
Now, three and half decades later the university has acquired its archive and Bloodaxe Books is returning to the place where it all began. The university has just taken delivery of the first part of the archive and is starting the long task of cataloguing it. It is hoped that the archive will be available for reference within two years.

For more information, see

Source: New Writing North

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Free Chance For Young Poets To Be Published

Could you be the next young poetry laureate?

Aspiring young poets are being given free entry into this year’s Young Poets Of The Year book.

“This annual book has been published for several years now and aims to encourage under-19s to express themselves through poetry,” said Brent Whittam of United Press, which organises the competition.

This annual competition is now in its third year. “Our aim is to encourage young people to get more involved in poetry and all the poets published in the book get five free copies. This includes photos and profiles of each one, plus several of their poems,” said Brent.

Telephone 0844 800 9177 for details or send a photo, profile (including date of birth) and ten poems to Young Poets of The Year, United Press, Admail 3735, London EC1B 1JB. 

“We have long encouraged young people to get involved in poetry,” said Brent. “For over a decade we have produced free books featuring poetry written by children at various schools. By donating a large number of copies (50 or more) of these books to each school we have not only helped them to raise valuable funds but we’ve also given their pupils an outlet which has encouraged them to get involved in poetry. Throughout this period we’ve also included a lot of young people in anthologies along with adult poets. Every poet under-16 has been given a free copy of any anthology which includes their work. This has helped a lot of young poets take those first vital steps towards getting recognised for their talents.”

Young Poets Of The Year is the result and also the extension of that process,” said Brent. “We decided to produce this book to help each our Young Poet Laureates gain further recognition for their talents and help them to progress in their artistic achievement.”

Source: Poetry Kit

Vacancy at New Writing North: Marketing and Communications Manager

(Maternity cover from August 2013 for up to one year)

Deadline: Friday 21st June 2013

New Writing North are looking to recruit a temporary member of staff to cover a period of maternity leave. The marketing and communications manager performs a key role within New Writing North, encompassing the devising and delivery of both corporate objectives and project-related marketing and PR. The post reports to the chief executive and the postholder will work across the organisation with other senior staff and programme managers and with external stakeholders and project partners.

For full details and to apply, see

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Highly Recommended: 'The Forgetting and Remembering of Air' by Sue Hubbard, new poetry collection, now available!

'The Forgetting and Remembering of Air'
By Sue Hubbard
Published by Salt Publishing, 15th April 2013
ISBN 9781907773396
RRP £12.99 (hardback)

"Direct, muscular, compassionate and brave.
This is a poet who is not afraid of the authentic  and the real."
In this, her third collection, Sue Hubbard meditates on artt and the natural world. By going to the extreme edge  of western Ireland, to a Cornish beach, to the rim of the Solway Firth and the mouth of the Thames she explores,  in these disarmingly direct and evocative poems, in a language that is muscular and lyrical, painterly yet spare, the illusion of romantic love and the letting go of childhood grief. In the central section, based on paintings by the artist Rachel Howard, she examines the psycholo#$ of different women in extremis.
“"There is nothing safely aesthetic about these poems, beautifully observed though they frequently are.  The watching intelligence reaches so far into the places, situations or works of art that it nearly forgets itself, and maybe desires to. The central block of poems on the tragic deaths of women signal that danger, and make it all the more of an achievement when the closing poems journey to the edge of the Atlantic, almost beyond comfort or habitable land, and come back with a final, hard-won ‘...yes’ ” —Philip Gross
“'There are two kinds of islands' begins the poem, Dreaming of Islands, 'those born of erasure and fracture'. From the 'river's dark skin' at Bow Creek to Yves Klein, from St Ives to Prussian Blue; from Cliff and Elvis to Charing Cross, from Dora Carrington to Diane Arbus, Sue Hubbard locates places and people with a lyrical precision of voice, following those erasures and fractures to a 'fragile yes'. Thee poems surge with a natural force breathing the world 'into and out of itself'. A mixture of nature and art, this is an impressive book. ” —George Szirtes
“Whether describing the Thames estuary or the remote west coast of Ireland, Sue Hubbard pays close and exact attention to the elemental world and the vulnerability of the human within it. These moving poems face the “anthracite dark” outside and inside us, and emerge renewed by it, like prayers “written on the waves”.”  —Pascale Petit
About the author: Sue Hubbard is an award-winning poet, novelist and freelance art critic. Twice a Hawthornden Fellow her poet!$ includes Everything Begins with the Skin (1994) and Ghost Station, (2004). She has published a collection of short stories, Rothko’s Red, (2008), a novel, Depth of Field, (2000) and a book on art, Adventures in Art (2010) and written regularly for The Independent and The New Statesman. She was the recipient of a major Arts Council Award for her new novel, Girl in White.

You can find out more about Sue and her work at

Monday, 10 June 2013

Poet Craig Bradley "That Poetry Bloke" is walking from Land's End to John O'Groats raising money for the NSPCC!

On June the 23rd, poet Craig Bradley "That Poetry Bloke", starts his walk from Lands End to John O'Groats performing his poems in schools along the way. 

Craig's walk has been scheduled passing through town after town from Truro, Taunton, Nailworth, Wilmslow and Lancaster to Coniston, Moffat, Glasgow, Inverness and Bora on his amazing 979 mile walk from Land's End to John O'Groats! Craig finishes his challenge on the 22nd August performing at a school assembly on Thurso.

Craig is hoping to raise as much cash as possible for the NSPCC and if you'd like to donate you can do so by donating at either or you can donate by texting POET64 with the amount you'd like to donate to 70070.  Anything you are able to give would be hugely appreciated. Please do share this with as many people as you can!

Craig will be blogging and Twittering along the way - you can follow him @ThatPoetryBloke.

ALSO - BBC Radio Leeds will be broadcasting a poem from the walk EVERY DAY on the Andrew Edwards' DriveTime show (Mon-Fri) at around 5.45pm and on Jonny I'Anson's weekend show (Sat-Sun), so tune in if you can!

Needless to say, we wish Craig lots of luck with his fundraising walk!

If you'd like to find out more about Craig, please visit his webpage here, where you can email Craig directly too!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Hitchcock’s East End: Year-long series of screenings and events to mark the return of a cinema to Waltham Forest, the home of Hitchcock, after a 10 year absence

The opening of a new Empire Cinema in Waltham Forest in late 2014 will mark the end of a 10 year absence of a cinema in the birthplace of Alfred Hitchcock, one of Britain’s most celebrated filmmakers. 

To celebrate the creation of The Scene at Cleveland Place, which includes a nine-screen cinema, homes, shops and restaurants the borough is hosting ‘Hitchcock’s East End’ - a year-long season of screenings and unique events that will celebrate and explore Alfred Hitchcock’s connection to Waltham Forest.

Hitchcock’s East End is a series of screening and special events programmed by Create London and the Barbican and has been commissioned by Hill Residential Ltd, in partnership with Waltham Forest Council and ISHA (Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association). The series will begin in September 2013 with a spectacular Saturday night screening of one of Hitchcock’s most celebrated films ‘Vertigo’. The special screening will take place in the Victorian surroundings of St Margaret’s Church in Leytonstone on Saturday 28 September 2013 at 7.00pm.

Tickets, priced at £8.50 and just £5.50 for Waltham Forest residents, are released today and can be purchased from the Create London website With each ticket including entry to a guided walk that takes in Hitchcock’s birthplace and the local streets where the director grew up and the appearance of a very special guest from the film industry for a pre-screening talk, organisers are urging fans to purchase their tickets early to avoid missing out.

Create London, which is sponsored by Deutsche Bank,  will produce this season of special screenings and events to  bring the suspense, adventure and glamour of Hitchcock’s films back to the place that was perhaps their original inspiration.

By staging screenings across Waltham Forest in a selection of unexpected locations Create London intend to highlight the gothic, enigmatic and eccentric elements of the borough that may have subconsciously inspired the great man. At the screenings established film-makers and critics will introduce the Hitchcock classics that most inspired them and will lead audiences to explore and re-imagine the suburban landscape of his childhood.

This project forms part of a programme of events leading towards the opening of the new Empire Cinema in late 2014 – returning a cinema to the borough after a ten year absence – which will form part of a major regeneration project The Scene at Cleveland Place, a new leisure destination for Waltham Forest. Hitchcock’s East End is presented with the Barbican and produced with The Nomad Cinema. Details of the further screenings and events will be released in Autumn.

Hadrian Garrard, Director, Create London, said: “It’s hard to believe that there hasn’t been a cinema for over 10 years in the birthplace borough of one of this country’s leading film directors. We thought the opening of the new cinema in 2014 was something worth celebrating. Hitchcock’s East End will be a very special series of screenings that will provide a stunning east London setting for some of the director’s greatest work and give the opportunity for local people and wider audiences to discover the heritage and creative history of Waltham Forest.”

Leader of the Council, Chris Robbins, said: “The Scene at Cleveland Place, includes a multi-screen cinema along with homes, shops and restaurants. Transforming the heart of Walthamstow to create a new entertainment destination, this series of Hitchcock screenings, walks and talks is the perfect way to build up to the opening of our very own cinema.”

Robert Rider, Head of Cinema, the Barbican, said: "We're delighted to be working with Create London to bring these Hitchcock classics to the director's birthplace in Leytonstone. The Barbican has a long history of high-quality programming and partnerships with artists and organisations in the east London and we're thrilled to be adding these unique screenings to the Beyond Barbican programme."

Producing and commissioning socially engaged projects in east London for the past four years, Create London work to spread the benefits of being home to Europe's largest cultural quarter to the people who live in east London.

Hitchcock’s East End will be a highlight in Create London’s 2013 programme which includes producing the Open East Festival; a weekend of family arts celebration to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and taking place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a new artist residency with Chisenhale Gallery which will see artist Edward Thomasson work with untrained actors from east London to develop a live performance this summer, the forthcoming announcement of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Create Art Award 2013, and the opening of Open School East this September - a non- fee paying art school and communal space set up to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, skills and collaborative opportunities between artists, local residents and neighbourhood organisations in the heart of East London.

Despite having the highest concentration of artists and creative businesses in Europe, east London has remarkably low levels of cultural engagement and remains one of the most deprived parts of the UK. Create London works to bridge the traditional divisions of class, culture, education and social background between the creative community and local people.

By commissioning major projects, attracting new audiences and working in partnership to profile the cultural life of the area, Create London plays a vital role in the continued economic regeneration of east London. The programme is underpinned by Create Jobs, which provides mentoring, support and paid employment opportunities for local young people.

Create London have commissioned major projects for 2013 including new interactive theatre production Bank On It which opens up the world of economics to children and is co-commissioned with the Barbican, the opening of Blackhorse Workshop; a place where local residents, artists, designers and DIY-ers can make, mend and learn in Waltham Forest, a new digital interactive film and performance commission from Hannah Perry called Have A Nice Day, a series of commissions for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in partnership with The Architecture Foundation called Emerging East Commissions, The Paper Architect; a site specific theatre performance and workshop series co-commissioned with the Barbican which explores the craft of paper cutting and video projections, and the Create London Talks Programme which will provide an opportunity to examine some of the issues and possibilities of working in the public domain for artists, curators, funders and audiences alike.

Find out more about Hitchcock’s East End and Create London at

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Cuckoo Quarterly Prize

The Cuckoo Quarterly Prize is an award of £50 which will be given to the best piece of writing in every issue. The prize recipient will be chosen by the Editorial Committee, the panel of young writers who select submissions, edit work and direct the magazine.
To launch the award, the committee have chosen Dawn by Hazel Atkinson (published in Issue 6) to receive the first award.

The THEME for issue 7 is LETTERS.
For the themed section we will accept writing of any form (poetry/non-fiction/script/illustration etc) relating to the chosen subject. Interesting or unusual angles on this subject are encouraged! Please mention in the accompanying email that the work is intended for the themed section.

All work submitted to Cuckoo Quarterly will be considered for the prize, providing the writer is aged 19 or under, resident in the UK and it is original work. So if you're a young writer with work in your bottom drawer, or if you know a young writer who needs some “encouragement” to submit, now is the perfect time to send Cuckoo Quarterly your work.

For details of how to submit, have a look at the Cuckoo Quarterly website at

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Wordquake presents the Bridlington Poetry Festival 2013

Sewerby Hall, Bridlington: Friday 14th -Sunday 16th June

Three packed days of poetry performances, workshops, talks and film screenings in the beautiful cliff-top setting of Sewerby Hall, two miles north of Bridlington. Now in its fourth year, Bridlington Poetry Festival welcomes poets from the East Riding of Yorkshire, from across the UK and around the world. This year’s 30 performers include Jackie Kay, Jo Shapcott, Don Paterson and Festival Patron Ian McMillan, and a Read regional event with Anna Woodford. Tickets from £10-£50. For more details, see

Wales Book of the Year Award 2013 Short List

The annual Wales Book of the Year journey began on Monday 13th May as the 2013 Short List was announced via a special online broadcast. Using a digital platform for the Short List means that everyone, whether in Wales or further afield, can celebrate the wealth of literary talent in Wales.

The broadcast was hosted by radio DJ and television presenter Lisa Gwilym. Lisa was joined for the announcement by two of the Wales Book of the Year judges Alun Gibbard and Jasper Fforde who discussed the panel’s choices, and gave a unique insight into the judging experience.

To watch the video and read about the shortlisted books, please visit the Wales Book of the Year website:

Over one hundred eligible English-language books were submitted for the 2013 Award, from which the following titles have been selected as the Wales Book of the Year 2013 Short List:

Roland Mathias Poetry Prize Short List:

Deryn Rees-Jones, Burying of the Wren (Seren)
Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Banjo (Picador)
Rhian Edwards, Clueless Dogs (Seren)

Fiction Short List:

Matthew Francis, Singing a Man to Death (Cinnamon Press)
Gee Williams, A Girl’s Arm (Salt Publishing)
James Smythe, The Testimony (Blue Door)

Creative Non-Fiction Short List:

John Harrison, Forgotten Footprints (Parthian)
Jon Gower, Wales at Water’s Edge (Gwasg Gomer)
Meic Stephens, Welsh Lives (Y Lolfa)

The 2013 Short List features writers at various stages of their literary careers. While James Smythe and Deryn Rees-Jones both appear on the Short List for the first time, as does Rhian Edwards for her debut poetry collection, other writers featured are no stranger to the Award, with John Harrison and Jon Gower both having won the accolade in recent years.

For the first time in the long history of the Award, one writer has reached both the English and Welsh Short List in the same year. This remarkable achievement is one of many for Meic Stephens who is one of Wales’ most celebrated writers and editors.

The English-language books were judged by writer and business consultant Ffion Hague, popular fantasy novelist Jasper Fforde, and lecturer and poet Richard Marggraf Turley.

The People's Choice Prize -
Vote for your favourite!

The readers of Wales and beyond can also have their say on who should lift a Wales Book of the Year trophy. You can now vote for your favourite English-language shortlisted book on the Wales Online website.

The Wales Book of the Year Award Ceremony 2013

Thursday 18th July, 7pm
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Cardiff, CF10 3ER
Tickets: £10.00 / £8.00 (Welsh Academy Members and Associates)

At this prestigious Award Ceremony, each category winner will receive a prize of £2,000, and the two main winners in each language will receive an additional £6,000. The People’s Choice Award winner will also be announced at the ceremony and will receive a specially commissioned trophy.

Tickets to the Award Ceremony cost just £10.00 / £8.00 and can be purchased by contacting Literature Wales on: / 029 2047 2266

Source: Literature Wales

Monday, 3 June 2013

Our Recommended Reads from May 2013

Check out the reviews section of our website for the latest recommended reads - from children's fiction to poetry and classic reads we're sure there is something for everyone. We also welcome your reviews too - email them to 'Reviews' at and we'll let you know when we use it!

Below are the titles we recommended during May 2013. (You can read our reviews and recommendations here.) If you'd like to get your book on our reading list send us an email that includes a press release and we'll get in touch!

‘The KnowHow Book of Spycraft’, Published by Usborne Publishing
‘Lucy Ladybird’ by Sharon King-Chai, Published by Templar Publishing
‘Wereworld: Storm of Sharks’ (Book 5) by Curtis Jobling, Published by Puffin Books
‘If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today’, Published by Ticktock Books
‘Stitch Head – The Spider’s Lair’ by Guy Bass, Illustrated by Pete Williamson, Published by Stripes Publishing
‘After Tomorrow’ by Gillian Cross, Published by Oxford University Press
‘Moon Bear’ by Gill Lewis, Published by Oxford University Press
‘Hagwitch’ by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Published by Orion Books
‘Out of this World’ by Ali Sparkes, Published by Oxford University Press
‘Varmints’ by Helen Ward and Marc Craste, Published by Templar Publishing
‘Lost Worlds’ by Andrew Lane, Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

June's recommended reads will start to appear on the website from this week. A selection of reviews will be published here too, as well as on our Facebook page ( and links from our Twitter account (@bookapoet).