Category

Poetry

The Private Lives of Authors: Sylvia Plath

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Many people know about Sylvia Plath’s writing, her relationship with Ted Hughes, and her battle with mental illness. A little known fact about Plath, however, was her passion for beekeeping.

Her love for bees began with her father, Otto Plath, who was a bumble bee expert.  Otto Plath’s book Bumblebees and Their Ways was published in 1934 and is still used today. Plath’s father grew up in Germany where he gained the nickname Beinen-Konig, meaning King of the Bees. Boston University recognised his knowledge and passion, giving him a place on their academic staff as the Professor of Entomology.

 

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Invictus: A Poem that Inspired a Nation

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Invictus is a short Victorian poem written by William Ernest Henley (23rd Aug, 1849 – 11th Jul, 1903), published in 1888 in his first volume of poems Book of Verses.

Although little known, the poem was originally published without title. The name Invictus (Latin for unconquered) was added later by editor Arthur Quiller-Couch. The message of the poem is fortitude in adversity, strength, and the stiff upper lip we associate with the Victorian period. Read More

10 Witty Wisecracks from Dorothy Parker

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Dorothy Parker (August 22nd, 1893 – June 7th, 1967) was an American poet, short story writer and satirist, best remembered for her wit and wisecracks.

Born in New Jersey, Parker had an unhappy childhood, leading to a long and unhappy relationship with her own father. She first became well known in 1918 when she stepped in for P. G Wodehouse writing theatre criticism for Vanity Fair. While her caustic wit was popular with readers, she was eventually terminated after her criticisms began to offend powerful theatre producers. Read More

Phillip Larkin Reads ‘This Be The Verse’.

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Phillip Larkin was born on the 9th of August in 1922 and died on the 2nd of December in 1985. He was a librarian and writer- best known for his poetry.
Larkin’s poetry has been described as reflective and with ironic understatement. His lyrical works are full of a quiet discontent that manages to give the reader a sense of ordinary life, with his recurring themes and subjects, such as death and fatalism.

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BBC to Support UK’s Biggest Poetry Festival

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National Poetry Day, held annually, falls on 28th September in 2017 and to celebrate the BBC is launching the UK’s biggest ever poetry festival, dedicated to new work. The festival run in conjunction with the BBC last year and saw more poetry books sold than ever before, but this year’s event is promising to be bigger and better!

The event will be called Contains Strong Language and will take place across four days, starting on National Poetry Day on 28th September. The festival will celebrate the power of poetry and words in all forms, encompassing both old and new works. Read More

Previously Unseen Sylvia Plath Poems Discovered

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An old notebook belonging to Sylvia Plath has been discovered to be holding a secret for the past five decades.

Plath had used carbon paper with her typewriter, as was often the way, while writing her poetry and recording her thoughts. Some of these scraps of carbon paper were discovered in the back of an old notebook, her words still etched on the dark ink.

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14 Nayyirah Waheed Poems to Stir Your Soul

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Nayyirah Waheed is an African-American poet and author with two published books under her belt. She treasures her privacy so not a lot is known about her personal life except what we can see in her poetry.

Nayyirah is known as one of the most famous and loved poets on Instagram with over 250,000 followers reading her art every day.

Her poetry surrounds issues of identity and race, love, emotion, and feminism. Her brevity of language and use of punctuation and lowercase letters, encourages the reader to examine the depth of her meaning. It captivates each reader through beauty, pain, and spirit.

I hope you enjoy these selected poems, and are inspired to explore her work further.

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Manchester Artists Collaborate for Tribute

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When Manchester held a vigil last week to mark the terrible terrorist attack on the city, poet Tony Walsh was asked to read his poem ‘This is the Place’, and that action has inspired the city artists to collaborate on a new book to help those affected by the terror attack on 22nd May.

The volume will include contributions from designers, illustrators, and photographers who will each respond to a line in the poem for the new book. All proceeds from sales of the book will go to charity. Read More

Shakespeare’s Sonnets to Soothe the Soul

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William Shakespeare: the wordsmith; the romantic; the artist.

He certainly has a way with words and his sonnets remain some of his most popular work to date. Shakespeare’s sonnets were first published on the 20th of May in 1609, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe of London.

We have chosen a small selection of his works to share with you today…

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BBC Books to Publish first Doctor Who Poetry Collection

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With Illustrations by Russell T. Davies!

Books and Doctor Who go together like bread and jam. The Doctor is enthused by knowledge and learning and in his own words “Books, the best weapons in the world!” and so I’m pretty excited to hear the news that the first Doctor Who Poetry Collection is coming and will be published by BBC Books later this year. Read More