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National Poetry Competition readings at The Poetry Café – Stephen Sexton with Jane Yeh and Kirsten Irving

Wednesday 18 September 2019, 7:00 pm9:30 pm

£5 – £7

l-r: Jane Yeh (credit: Andy Forest), Kirsten Irving, Stephen Sexton (credit: Michael Weir)

As the weeks count down towards the deadline for the 2019 National Poetry Competition on 31st October (enter here), The Poetry Society is delighted to welcome the competition’s 2016 winner Stephen Sexton who will read from his new debut collection If All the World and Love were Young (Penguin), shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, a daring exploration of memory and grief through the prism of classic video game Super Mario World

He will be joined by National Poetry Competition 2018 commended poet Kirsten Irving, editor at Sidekick Books and author of Never Never Never Come Back (Salt) and Jane Yeh, author of Discipline (Carcanet), who was commended in the 2009 National Poetry Competition and on its judging panel in 2013.


Kirsten Irving is a Lincolnshire-born, London-based poet and voiceover, and one of the two editor behind collaborative press Sidekick Books. Her work has been published by Happenstance and Salt, widely anthologised, and thrown out of a helicopter. She won the 2011 and 2017 Live Canon International Poetry Prizes, and is currently working on her second collection, as well as Kumo, a sci-fi collaboration with artist Renee O’Drobinak on demons in post-apocalyptic Japan. In October 2019, she will be teaching her first Poetry School online course on folklore from around the world. @KoftheTriffids www.kirstenirving.com 

Jane Yeh’s new collection of poems, Discipline (Carcanet), is a 2019 Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her first collection of poems, Marabou (Carcanet, 2005), was shortlisted for the Forward, Whitbread (Costa), and Aldeburgh poetry prizes. She was named a Next Generation poet by the Poetry Book Society for her second collection, The Ninjas (Carcanet, 2012). A Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University, she writes on books, theatre, and fashion for such publications as The Poetry Review and The Village Voice.

Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast. Poems have appeared in Granta, POETRY, The Stinging Fly and Poetry Ireland Review. His pamphlet, Oils, was the Poetry Society’s Winter Pamphlet Choice. He was the winner of the 2016 National Poetry Competition and the recipient of an ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2018. If All the World and Love Were Young, published by Penguin, is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.