The initial inspiration for Lyrically Justified (Volumes 1 & 2) came when two open mic promoters, Saiqa Rehman and Harry Lotta, felt the poets who spoke at their sessions deserved promoting.
Their website explains the influences behind their anthologies:
“The Urban Word Collective was born out of a dream of a shared space whereby Urban Poets could mutually promote, celebrate and inspire one another for the benefit of their communities and ultimately country. Such poets are the Bob Dylans of today and have so much to say, to add to navigating a tumultuous world. The world of poetry has never been exclusive to one tradition, rather a tree with roots that propagates, seeding for the present and future.”
Poetry compiler Shaun Clarke speaks here:
Volume 1 of the Lyrically Justified anthology from Urban Collective was released in 2016, and Volume 2 has recently been produced thanks to a Crowdfunding project. The books proudly display the diversity of the UK and, through independent publishing, poets who may not have been so lucky otherwise have a chance of being heard.
Urban poetry tells us stories with passion in rhythm and an almost-magical way of making the reader want to read out loud. The poets in these anthologies are offering an insight into their lives, minds, loves, and fears. Despite having started out as spoken word poets, their work translates well to the page. As much as it would be wonderful to find yourself at an open mic night in Bristol, and hear the poets sing, speak, rhyme, and chant, reading their lyrical prose can still feel like an intimate experience.
The poets come from varied backgrounds, having lived different lives but coming together in a mutual passion for expression through language and creative thought.
Not satisfied with just helping poets across the country, Urban Collective are giving proceeds from the sale of the books towards grassroots charities – 5-10% of donations are offered to Freedom Project (Bristol) and Leeds Young Authors.
With thanks to Polly at Arkbound social enterprise publishers for sending For Reading Addicts a copy of Lyrically Justified Volume 2!
Alfie Coleiro from Eastbourne, had been bullied via anonymous messages sent on Instagram, his smartphone, and even via his Playstation. Horrifyingly, many of the nasty messages were telling him to kill himself, and that he should never have been born, however Alfie’s response was amazing.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, his father Jay remarked: “I didn’t have a clue he was writing the poem. He likes to share his emotions through music and stuff like that, so he went upstairs, wrote it and then showed it to me.”
The two had never met before when Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner traveled from the Marshall Islands in Micronesia to Greenland’s capital city Nuuk where she met Inuk poet Aka Niviâna. They then met up with a small film crew and journeyed on to an isolated area on southern Greenland’s ice sheet where they recited their poem “Rise” atop a melting glacier.
Into adulthood, Pound was credited with being a leading figure in Imagism, a movement derived from classical Chinese poetry, stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language. He’s also credited with being a major figure in early modernist poetry.
The longlist for poetry is an eclectic collection with a range of poetry styles and collections. Some we’ve heard of, some poets are new to us, but we do know that if it’s in the longlist then it’s almost guaranteed to be a fantastic collection.
And here it is, the National Book Awards Longlist for Poetry 2018:
Laugharne is steeped in history, and was well before Thomas decided to reside there. It has a castle that dates back to the 1100s, laid siege by Cromwell in the 1600s but still standing in ruinous form today. The town also contains many fine examples of Georgian townhouses and is home to the Laugharne Corporation, the last surviving medieval corporation in the UK.
It is however, best known for being the home of Dylan Thomas and the town is scattered with landmarks connected to the author, from the boathouse, to his writing shed, the castle gazebo where he and Richard Hughes wrote together, the Dylan Thomas birthday walk, inspired by Poem in October, and his final resting place.