UK’s Anvil and Carcanet Presses to merge

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

Two of the UK’s most important independent literary publishers, Anvil Press Poetry and Carcanet Press, have announced a merger that will relocate Anvil’s operations from Greenwich to Carcanet’s Manchester base. This will create “the most diverse world poetry list in the [...]

National Poetry Day gets Britain versing

By Paul St John Mackintosh
October 8, 2015 // 0 Comments

National Poetry Day, the UK’s annual celebration of all things poetical, takes place today this year, on Thursday October 8th. And traditional and social media alike, plus websites, libraries, town squares, billboards, and even construction scaffolding, are filling up with commemorations and [...]

Men of Harlech rejoice worldwide for first Dylan Day

By Paul St John Mackintosh
May 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Dylan Day, in full the International Dylan Thomas Day, took place for the first time this year on May 14th, “the date Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953,” according to the official Literature Wales website. And for those who want to [...]

BBC Scotland seeks first Poet in Residence

By Paul St John Mackintosh
May 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

Given the hostility in some nationalist quarters in Scotland to the BBC and its coverage of the recent independence referendum, it may be a surprising time to see this, but BBC Scotland is inviting applications for “the post of BBC Scotland’s inaugural Poet in Residence: a unique [...]

Emeryville finds: house your poets, or lose them

By Paul St John Mackintosh
April 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

Here’s a piece of advice for local and national authorities: If you’re going to introduce a high-minded Poet Laureate program, make sure you can actually hold on to your cultural resource and not lose them to your own ruinous real estate trends. Because that’s what has happened in [...]

Poetry on rails with the PoetTrain, kulturBOT

By Paul St John Mackintosh
April 20, 2015 // 0 Comments

Canada is in the middle of an epic month for poetry with some of the most magical manifestations of mechanized minstrelry ever made, as the Great Canadian PoetTrain Tour hits the rails to celebrate National Poetry Month, carrying, among its passenger list of a score or so poets, my kulturBOT 3.0, a [...]

Grave of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s muse Fanny Cornforth discovered

By Paul St John Mackintosh
April 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

Victorian Pre-Raphaelite poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti is almost as celebrated for his verse as his painting – and renowned too for the succession of lovely models and muses who appear in his art, and who apparently inspired work in both media. One was Fanny Cornforth, the [...]

Owen Sheers on track to build profile of Welsh poetry

By Paul St John Mackintosh
February 15, 2015 // 0 Comments

As a proud scion of one (predominantly) Celtic nation, I’m glad to see literature and poetry winning more recognition and prestige in another. So it’s great to announce that Welsh poet Owen Sheers has been shortlisted for the 2015 St David Awards, “celebrating exceptional people [...]

The origins of Auld Lang Syne – the world’s most popular poem

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 31, 2014 // 6 Comments

“Auld Lang Syne” is a song you’ll hear the world over, from Tokyo to Tashkent. (And after many years in Asia, I can testify to that.) Chances are that a fair slice of the world’s population, of multiple ethnicities, will be either singing it or hearing it at the stroke of [...]

Imtiaz Dharker receives Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 20, 2014 // 0 Comments

Pakistan-born British poet Imtiaz Dharker has received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, one of the prizes and awards within the gift of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Instituted in 1933 by King George V, on the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield, the [...]

Liz Lochhead and the sad spectacle of Makargate

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 11, 2014 // 0 Comments

One of the more dramatic, and sorrier, literary hangovers from the Scottish Independence Referendum has been the so-called "Makargate" controversy, when Liz Lochhead, celebrated poet and reigning Scots Makar (the Caledonian poet laureate), joined the Scottish National Party. A pro-Unionist body of opinion promptly declared that this new allegiance disqualified her from being a national poet for Scotland, and that she should resign. [...]

Scottish Poetry Library launches appeal to fund expansion

By Paul St John Mackintosh
December 6, 2014 // 0 Comments

The Scottish Poetry Library, nerve center of the poetry community in Scotland, has launched an appeal to fund expansion plans for its building, via online donations and other fundraising exercises. The expansion program has already received considerable funding support, but needs further [...]

Medieval poem illuminates Magna Carta

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 30, 2014 // 0 Comments

In an object lesson in how the study of poetry and literature can shed fresh light on not just history, but even politics, researchers at the British Library in London have unearthed fresh contemporary accounts of the genesis and signing of Magna Carta, the founding document of Anglo-Saxon [...]

Chinese tomb find shows poetry that lasts 1000 years

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 18, 2014 // 0 Comments

Readers in today’s ephemeral high-churn throwaway society might like to pause and reflect on a story just revealed by the academic journal Chinese Cultural Relics, and relayed via LiveScience: A Chinese nobleman’s tomb dating from the Liao Dynasty, some 1000 years ago, excavated near [...]

Dylan Thomas notebook find may help clarify creative process

By Paul St John Mackintosh
November 17, 2014 // 0 Comments

A private notebook of Welsh giant Dylan Thomas, dated to 1934-35 but left forgotten in his mother-in-law’s house before being saved from burning by her maid and kept among her effects for some 70 years, has now gone on sale through Sotheby’s of London and may shed light on his personal [...]

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