Poetry Library news

Newsletter for members of our service for visually impaired peple | 31-Jul-10

Poetry Library Update,  June 2010

New recordings at the Poetry Library

Here is a selection of new compact discs that you can request from the Library by telephone, email, or by sending a note back with your returns.

Broken herd by Kate Tempest, a young poet and rapper from South East London 
Choman Hardi : reading from her poems ? these poems are by a Kurdish poet writing in English

Classic poems by Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, W.H. Ayden and Ted Hughes. This CD includes the following readers; John Gielgud, Richard Burton, Ralph Richardson, John Cairney, Cedric Hardwicke, Sybil Thorndike, James Mason, Diana Quick, Boris Karloff and Cyril Cusack 

The clue : poetical explorations by Paula Claire. Paula Claire has just withdrawn her nomination for the Oxford Professorship of Poetry

Gary Langford : reading from his poems

Deryn Rees-Jones reading from her poems

Esther Morgan: reading from her poems

Clare Pollard  : reading from her poems

Helen Dunmore: reading from her poems . Helen Dunmore has just won the National Poetry Competition with her poem 'The Malarkey'
Jane Duran  : reading from her poems 

John Fuller : reading from his poems

Julia Copus: reading from her poems

Meniscus : poetry with music by Cathy Flower

Paul Batchelor: reading from his poems

Paul Muldoon: reading from his poems

Sally Read: reading from her poems

Sarah Maguire : reading from her poems

Vincent O'Sullivan: reading from his poems

How Hall : selected poems about Cumbria by Tom Rawling 

The poet slave of Cuba : a biography of Juan Francisco Manzano  by Margarita Engle

Zen poems by Lucien Stryk 

John Rety : at the Torriano, 13 June 1999
John Rety was the driving force behind the Torriano Meeting House poetry venue and Hearing Eye Press. He was a frequent visitor to the library but sadly died in February and will be missed in the library.

Here are some new anthologies:

The nation's favourite poems read by John Nettles, Siobhan Redmond, Greg Wise, and Emma Fielding

81 famous poems : an audio companion to The Norton anthology of poetry
Best of Second World War poetry read by Martin Jarvis and Barry Humphries among others

Contemporary English literature : volume 1 : poetry, read by the poets Robert Graves, Elizabeth Jennings, Edith Sitwell,  and Cecil Day Lewis

Words for you : the greatest poems, the finest voices, glorious music
Includes: recordings of individual poems by various actors, with musical excerpts

 I, too, sing America : three centuries of African American poetry

We have recently acquired some anthologies on CD from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings .  Smithsonian Folkways is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States, dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound.  The initiative provides unparalleled accessibility to less-often heard voices of people from all over the world.

Some anthologies of poetry from Smithsonian-Folkways:

Modern Brazilian poetry 

Modern Portuguese poetry

20th century French poetry

Feelings of love not yet expressed: an album of poetry by the neo Black women in poetry

Six Montreal poets

Six Toronto poets

Of poetry and power : poems occasioned by the presidency and by the death of John F. Kennedy

And here are some discs new to the library to remember or listen with your children or grandchildren:

Calico pie : poems, nursery rhymes and music

The Dr. Seuss collection read by Rik Mayall. Includes: The Lorax, Dr. Seuss's ABC, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish 

Favourite poetry: poems read by Richard Burton, Robert Hardy, John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft, Anthony Quayle, Christopher Hassall 

 Women's poetry at the Poetry Library

In September we are pleased to be hosting a discussion in the library on the subject of women's poetry anthologies. The discussion will be introduced by the academic Jane Dowson, who teaches at De Montfort University in Leicester. Dr Dowson has written, among other things, a comprehensive history of British women's poetry in the twentieth century. She will be joined by two women who have edited anthologies of women's poetry ? poets Carrie Etter and Maura Dooley. Among some of the questions they may be asking each other are:

Why books of poetry by women? Is there such a thing as women's poetry? Why have some great women poets refused to be included in such anthologies?

Anthologies of women?s poetry we have in the library are many and varied. They include, for example:

Basadzi voices : an anthology of poetic writing by young black South African women 

Chaos of the night: women's poetry and verse of the Second World War
Cradle and all: women writers on pregnancy and birth

The devil's dozen: thirteen Bulgarian women poets 

The dybbuk of delight: an anthology of Jewish women's poetry

French women poets of nine centuries : the distaff and the pen

These are not sweet girls: Latin American women poets

Voices from inside : poems by women in prison

What Sappho would have said: four centuries of love poems between women

What do we have available to send you on CD?

Feelings of love not yet expressed : an album of poetry by the neo Black women in poetry

Five American women [cassette] Louise Bogan, H.D., Edna St Vincent Millay, Gertrunde Stein and Muriel Rukeyser 

Women and poetry: approaching literature 

The poetry quartets : Fleur Adcock, Carol Ann Duffy, Selima Hill and Carol Rumens

We also have many compact discs of poetry by women. Highlights include poetry by Maya Angelou, Adrienne Rich, and Stevie Smith.

The Poetry Trust says:

We're delighted to announce that The Poetry Trust has teamed up with Wimbledon to appoint the first 'Championships Poet'.

Throughout Wimbledon fortnight (21 June - 4 July) Matt Harvey will create a poem-a-day on all things Wimbledon, tour the airwaves and deliver impromptu live-performances to the famous Wimbledon queue. We're sure his whimsical, perceptive, funny behind-the-scenes poems will delight tennis & poetry fans alike and introduce thousands more to the joys of volleying with words .

The announcement was made on a sunny Centre Court yesterday and has certainly lit something of a national/international media touchpaper with coverage as far and wide as Miami, Canada and Taiwan!

All Matt's poems will be viewable online and there'll be audio podcasts - featuring Matt reading his latest verses and sharing behind-the-scene observations - via the Wimbledon and Poetry Trust websites. 
Enjoy the first podcast at now as Matt explores Wimbledon, shares his excitement and reads his very first Championships poem 'Grandest of Slams' which you can also catch him reading as part of a short film on the The Guardian website.

Global Poetry System

Global Poetry System (GPS) is an online world map of poetry which is generated by its users. Anyone can add poetry to the map from anywhere in the world, be it traditional folk poetry, football chants or photographs of poetic graffiti. Visitors to the site can then search the GPS Google powered map by postcode, and discover the poetry that is all around them. As well as images and videos we now have over 100 audio clips of poetry on the website, from various locations across the globe. These range from professional poets reading their own work to members of the public reciting the poems that they enjoy. Poets such as Zena Edwards and John Hegley have contributed audio recordings to the site, as well as a variety of musicians.
GPS has been up and running for over a year, and its number of members is continuing to grow. There are now poems in every continent, spanning 35 countries and in several different languages.

In one of our most recent projects the GPS team have been busy gathering recordings of folk poetry and verse as part of Richard Thompson?s Meltdown Festival, which took place at Southbank Centre from the 11th to the 21st of June. Musicians, poets and members of the public have contributed to this diverse collection of audio recordings, including members of the award winning folk band Bellowhead, Richard Thomson, and poet Chris McCabe who also works here at the poetry library.

Since GPS started, we've found that people really enjoy remembering the poem they carry with them in their memories ? in most cases something that roots them to where they?re from. So this month, we bring you an invitation from Richard Thompson to join in this collection. Playground chants, folk songs, proverbs, historical ballads or the first record you ever bought: what?s your oral tradition?We would love for you to participate.

We've also prepared a treat for all those who venture past Southbank Centre during June. One of the Royal Festival Hall windows has been set up with invisible speakers to play out selected Meltdown Festival recordings whenever somebody walks by. From short poems and snippets of lullabies, to unique recordings from internationally acclaimed artists, poetry and folk verse from across the world will float over the London soundscape.

Winners of the National Poetry Competition announced

Leading novelist and poet Helen Dunmore has won this year's National Poetry Competition, organised by The Poetry Society. First prize of £5,000 was awarded for her poem 'The Malarkey'.

Dunmore said of receiving the news: 'I've written very few poems over the past four years... but now I have the feeling that there is the kernel of a new collection. It is a
great boost to receive the prize - a confirmation.'

Judges Daljit Nagra, Ruth Padel and Neil Rollinson were captivated, as Padel explains: 'This poem sprang out at me at once, on first read-through, from ten and a half thousand poems, because of the surprising focus it gave, linguistically, imaginatively and emotionally, on something that was not there. It was not showy. I found it completely arresting in its
quietness; in the hidden strength of what it was saying so unobtrusively.'

You can borrow a CD of Jane Dunmore?s work from the library, and see if you are as captivated as the judges. Just phone us and make a request.

TS Eliot prize

The winner of the TS Eliot prize, presented back in January, was Philip Gross's fascinating book, The Water Table, which explores the Severn Estuary.  While we will have two wait for this collection to come out on CD, we can offer you other water themed work. Why not try Alice Oswald's Dart or The Sea, featuring poets Pat Borthwick, Milner Place, Ian Parks and Esther Morgan.

Costa Book of the Year

Christopher Reid was awarded the 2009 Costa Book of the Year for his collection of poems A Scattering.   It is only the sixth time a poetry book has won the award, with Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney each winning twice.  The collection is a tribute to Reid's wife, Lucinda Gane, who died in 2005, and was written during her final illness and after her death.  The judges described A Scattering as 'intensely moving, compelling and honest'.

Royal Society

This summer, the Royal Society celebrates 350 years of studying science, since their first meeting, which featured Christopher Wren giving a lecture on astronomy. You can hear poems about science by asking us for the CD Discources.

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