Poetry News – Spring 2020

We celebrate the winner of the 2019 National Poetry Competition, Susannah Hart, in the Spring 2020 issue of Poetry News. You can read her powerfully disturbing poem, ‘Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’, alongside the other winning and commended poems on our National Poetry Competition webpages.

We celebrate the launch of the new Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, the kindred-spiritedness of the recent Free Verse Poetry Book & Magazine Fair, and Saiqa Khushnood as the winner of the Peggy Poole Award for mentoring. We toast the ongoing success of publishers Rack Press, tall-lighthouse and Candlestick Press. We also publish warm tributes to Roddy Lumsden, a former editor of Poetry News, and Hylda Sims, the founder and long-time host of Fourth Friday in The Poetry Café.

In the article ‘Hope on a Postcard’, John Challis and Sinéad Morrissey write movingly of the powerful and creative responses to poetry they met with during poetry workshops they ran in a male maximum security prison. The inspiration was the Bloodaxe anthology, The Mighty Stream: Poems in Celebration of Martin Luther King. “Rather than being burdensome, overly intellectual or obtuse, we discovered poetry to be an ideal art form with which to engage people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, religions, ethnicities and educational levels,” they say.

We have the tremendous winning poems in our members’ poems competition on the theme of ‘Cats’, judged by self-confessed ailurophile Richard Scott, and announce our new competition of the theme of ‘Winning’, with Rishi Dastidar standing by to make those first-to-the-finish-line judgment calls.

And in our Young Poetry News section, we have news of spoken word championships in Birmingham and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and reports from recent Young Poets Network Challenges, including an excerpt from Natalie Perman’s outstanding poem, ‘The Poem in the Locket’.

We’ve also news of Stanza groups’ activities across the UK and beyond, plus our members’ successes, news  of festivals, events, podcasts, appearances, significant appointments and opportunities occurring around the country and the world.

Poetry News connects members to the wider world of poetry. To receive a copy through your letterbox every quarter, simply join The Poetry Society.