Poetry News – Winter 2018

Poetry News Winter 2018 RGBThe Winter issue of Poetry News is one to warm the cockles of your heart.

We report on our involvement in the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree lighting-up ceremony, where three London schoolchildren read Joseph Coelho’s specially commissioned poem (now surrounding the base of the Tree on a vibrant banner until 3 January 2019). We share glowing recommendations of poetry book gifts from Poetry News contributors, and Fiona Bennett explains the philosophy of approaching poems as friends, which underpins the activities of The Poetry Exchange. Amy Key sweeps us up into the vivid world of Kate Bush, who has just published a book of her (remarkably poetic) lyrics.

Rachel Boast invites us into worlds of ‘The Abstract Space’, introducing the winners of this quarter’s members’ poems competition, inspired by the work of W.S. Graham. The new members’ poems competition features an innovation for Poetry News – we’re asking you to take inspiration from a wordcloud generated from the most common words in the forty winning poems over the history of the National Poetry Competition. The judges send word of their excitement about judging the NPC this year, and we publish details of a glittering event to celebrate the Competition’s fortieth anniversary: a treasure trove of readers at a special event in London on 20 March 2019.

We look to the future with upcoming poetry festivals and a forthcoming exhibition in The Poetry Café celebrating the work of Canal Laureate Nancy Campbell and waterway enthusiast Robert Powell. We also ask you to submit your recommendations for the Ted Hughes Award, in time for the 7 January 2019 deadline.

Our Young Poetry News pages fly the flag for the hugely talented young poets we work with, through our spoken word programme, digital platform Young Poets Network and the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award, which is celebrating its twentieth birthday with a rich range of readings, recordings and tributes.

Stanza Poetry Competition-winner Richard Westcott takes us behind the scenes of his striking poem ‘A Traditional Cure’ and Ted Hughes-nominated Antony Owen explores his role as a peace poet in Coventry, a city recognised internationally as a place of peace and reconciliation. We point readers towards our contributions in the extraordinary atlas of worldwide contemporary poetry, Poetry International Web. And as ever, we tell of our Stanzas’ exciting activities, publish our members’ extraordinary successes, and share what we’ve done, seen and heard poetry-wise over the past few months.