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Two-year national development programme | 22-Feb-08

Jan 2008
Press Release

Spread the Word launches a pioneering national development programme for Black and Asian Poets

Spread the Word is now launching a pioneering two-year national development programme for Black and Asian Poets called The Complete Works.

The initiative follows publication of Free Verse, a report highlighting the fact that very few BME poets are getting published in the UK. The programme will provide solid support to 10 BME poets to produce a publishable collection of poetry and will offer mentoring, workshops and networking opportunities as well as a week long residential Summer School in partnership with the Arvon Foundation.

This scheme is open to poets who are either unpublished or have published just one collection of poetry to date. Poets will be selected on the basis of an application form, a letter, samples of their poetry and an interview where they will be assessed on their commitment to developing their poetry to the highest standard, to this scheme and to the completion of a collection of poetry in two years.

The selection process will be highly competitive and it is hoped that exceptionally talented new, unknown poets will be discovered.  To ensure that as many new voices as possible are represented, publicity has been sent out a wide range of groups and individuals, including both literature/arts based organisations and more grassroots community based groups.  The steering committee includes poets Moniza Alvi, Bernardine Evaristo, Daljit Nagra, Patience Agbabi as well as Matthew Hollis of Faber and Faber publishing house, Ruth Borthwick director of Planet Poetry, Fiona Sampson editor of Poetry Review, Gemma Seltzer from Arts Council England and Emma Hewett, director of Spread the Word. 

Full details of how to enter can be found on the Spread the Word website.

The project is funded by the Arts Council England, The Foyle Foundation and the Old Possum?s Practical Trust.

Bernardine Evaristo, Ruth Borthwick and Daljit Nagra are also available for interviews about the programme.

For further information please contact:

Nathalie Teitler
Project Manager
The Complete Works
0207 735 3616

Spread the Word is a charity that supports the development of London-based writers at all stages of their careers. We manage innovative projects attracting new people to writing, as well as supporting those further on in their writing careers through a rolling programme of workshops and events.

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