Manchester Poet Donates Poem ‘This Is The Place’ To His City

By January 10, 2018News, Poetry

On the 23rd of May 2017 Mancunian poet Tony Walsh read his poem, This is the Place in tribute to the Manchester Arena attack victims. A crowd of thousands gathered in central Manchester in remembrance of those who were killed and injured in a terror attack.

The poem instantly became a symbol of the proud and resilient city. Its lines now adorn walls and buildings, offering snippets of hope and strength to its inhabitants. The poem, it seemed, now belonged to the city.

Its creator, Tony Walsh, has since decided to officially ‘gift’ the poem to Manchester, hoping its use will help raise money for thousands of community projects for the city. The popularity of the poem had grown to the point that big corporations were using lines from it without permission, and without any recompense for Manchester and its people.

In January 2018, the poet said that by gifting the poem to the city of Manchester, it would ensure that any royalties would go to the Forever Manchester charity, which currently funds thousands of projects across the community.

Thanks to the licensing change, This is the Place can be used free of charge in school libraries and colleges, while a donation to charity is required from businesses. Any profits made through merchandise will also go to Forever Manchester.

The video below shows Walsh reading his poem aloud to the gathered community the day after the Manchester bombing that killed 22 and injured over 100 innocent people.

Speaking after donating the poem, Walsh said:

“This is me trying to give something back. There’s not a day gone by since the poem trended fourth in the world that I’ve not been approached by someone wanting to do something with it, or seen tweets about things that people have done with it unauthorised. It’s hugely time consuming. It’s about protecting the poem, it’s about using its commercial potential to benefit the people of Greater Manchester, putting it back to where it came from.”

Speaking of the community charity, he remarked: “Forever Manchester do fantastic work: they fund football teams and old pensioners’ clubs, community centres and cancer support groups, drama groups and dancing groups and sports teams. It’s just the stuff of community life really – it’s not massive headline stuff but it’s really important to the local communities.”

Discover more of Tony Walsh’s Poetry here

Pablo Neruda: Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines

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Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, better known for his pen name Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet, diplomat and politician born on July 12th 1904. Neruda started receiving recognition for his poetry aged just thirteen and wrote in a variety of styles including surrealist poems, historical epics and even political manifestos, although he is probably best known for his passionate love poems.

Neruda had many accolades to his name, for his political work and his poetry. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and was described by Gabriel Garcia Marquez as “The greatest poet of the 20th Century in any language.” Read More

Neil Gaiman Wins Science Fiction Poetry Prize

By | Literary Awards, Poetry | No Comments
Neil Gaiman’s poem The Mushroom Hunters has won first prize in the Long Poem category at The 2018 Rhysling Awards.

The Science Fiction Poetry Association’s award was started in 1978 in recognition of achievements in the field of speculative poetry. The award was named after the blind singer and storyteller “Noisy” Rhysling, the protagonist of Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Green Hills of Earth“.

Neil Gaiman’s poem The Mushroom Hunters beat a whole array of other-worldly poems to gain the prestigious first prize for a long poem. The poem has been heralded as the “first feminist poem about the dawn of science“.

Watch the reading, or read it yourself below.

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5 of our Favourite Summer Poems

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Summer is here at last!

The next few months will be full of al fresco dining, bright evenings, and beach trips, interspersed with lots and lots of reading. To mark this season of sandcastles and ice cream we have gathered five of favourite Summer poems.

Let us know which of your own favourite poems remind you of the Summer time.

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Poet Amy K. Blakemore Accuses Penguin Random House Editor of Sexual Assault

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The young poet Amy K. Blakemore, who won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in both 2007 and 2008, has come forward and accused a poetry editor working for Penguin Random House of assault. The man in question is Donald Futers, who apparently assaulted Ms. Blakemore in 2015 after they met for drinks to discuss her work. Mr. Futers vehemently denies the allegations.

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