Happy National Poetry Day 2020

Happy National Poetry Day from the WLF Team! Here’s a small guide to places you can spend some time today.

The main website for National Poetry Day is worth a good look around, but in case you are snatching a poem on your lunch break or pressed for time, we have selected some options.

36 Poems to read

Articles National Poetry Day

Poetry Recommendations

If you prefer to listen to a poem, there is a great selection on the Poetry Archive – 7 poems to listen to.

Attend one of the many events on offer today, nearly all are ticketed, some are free and there are lots of poetry take overs across social media platforms.

You could treat yourself and listen to Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reading in Dove Cottage (Wordsworth). This is a ticketed event.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm BST

Tickets £7; £5 to current supporters of the Wordsworth Trust.

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist. In 2010 he was awarded the CBE for services to poetry and in 2019 he was appointed Poet Laureate. This year we have invited him to take over Dove Cottage for an exclusive performance of his own poetry, bringing to life the house that Wordsworth lived in 200 years ago.

Simon Armitage Trailer

Or join Leena Batchelor (Worcestershire Poet Laureate) this evening. To find out more about the event click here.

Or just find a quiet spot, take a book off the shelf and indulge in a read, or grab a notebook and pen and have a write.

The original post can be found here it includes additional links to writing exercises.

Congratulations to Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015 – Heather Wastie

Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015 Heather Wastie
Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015 Heather Wastie

Congratulations and felicitations to the county’s new Poet Laureate 2015, Heather Wastie. Heather describes herself as ‘Wordsmith, humourist and musician with a rich professional life as poet, composer, singer, songwriter, pianist and facilitator.

Heather grew up in the Black Country; in 2006 she moved to Kidderminster where she runs spoken word and music night, Mouth and Music. Anyone who has ever visited Mouth & Music in Kidderminster will be familiar with Heather’s incredible range, including her alter-ego Montserrat Carbonara.

In 2013 she was Writer in Residence at the Museum of Carpet, turning people’s memories into poems, monologues and songs which she now performs. This work will be published in 2015 by Black Pear Press under the title Weaving Yarns.

With Emma Purshouse, she co-founded Brewers’ Troupe performance poetry company which performs in pubs. She helped establish Croome Poets linked with Croome Court in Worcestershire where she also performs as an actor for Croome Encounters.

Heather has published three illustrated poetry collections and, as an oral historian, has compiled and edited two books of Black Country reminiscences which grew out of projects in Tipton and West Bromwich. She has recently completed commissions for the Canal & River Trust, Black Country Echoes, Birmingham LGBT choir Rainbow Voices, West Midlands Historic Buildings Trust and is working on an audio piece for and Apples and Snakes.

To find out more about Heather follow the links:

Blog

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Heather was interviewed by Worcester News shortly after she won this year’s Laureateship and the interview led to a poem and a promise.

…and here is Heather’s first poem as Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015.

Poet Laureate’s Promise

For a whole year
Worcestershire
is poetically mine!

I could strut sonnets in Stourport
Hand out haikus in Hartlebury
Tinker with triolets in Tenbury Wells
Swan through Kidderminster kicking kennings
Conjure couplets in Cookley
Polish pantoums in Pershore
Dig up doggerel in Droitwich
Blurt out blank verse in Bewdley
and bawl ballads in Bromsgrove
Exclaim elegies in Evesham
Forage for free verse in Fairfield
Offer odes in Ombersley
Recite rondeaux in Redditch
Initiate idylls in Inkberrow
Lurk with limericks in Lickey …

My stanzas could spring up anywhere;
there’ll be a poetic kerfuffle.
And one thing I promise the Worcestershire folk:
my poems will never be waffle.

© Heather Wastie
June 2015