We’re in the habit of celebrating poetry all throughout the year but to our delight, it’s National Poetry Day today – and that means there are loads of excellent events taking place, and creativity bursting out of every corner.
The good people behind the National Poetry Day campaign have recommended 36 amazing books for people of all ages to enjoy – and we’re thrilled to say that Seren poets Claire Williamson and Paul Deaton both feature on the list. As a treat today, we’ve filmed Claire and Paul reading a poem from their collections.
Claire Williamson, ‘My brother and mother as horses’
‘My Brother and Mother as Horses’ is taken from Visiting the Minotaur, published earlier this year.
In Visiting the Minotaur, the poet must enter a labyrinth of her own complicated family history, a history beset with secrets and lies, in order to come to terms with her own identity. She borrows from myths, histories, careful observations of nature, of city life, fashioning her artful meditations on experience and mortality.
Paul Deaton, ‘That Bang’
‘That Bang’ was Highly Commended by the Forward Prize judges and features in the Forward Book of Poetry 2019. The poem is taken from Paul’s debut, A Watchful Astronomy.
A Watchful Astronomy is full of poems that are artfully formal, quietly precise, yet full of powerful emotion. A father ‘like a wounded bear’ haunts much of this book, yet nature is a guiding presence and the poet’s gaze turns often to the skies: to wildlife, the weathers and the stars, in powerful reflective pieces.
National Poetry Day events: what’s on?
There are over 100 events happening all over the UK today, so why not have a browse of the National Poetry Day events map and see what’s happening near you?
Local to Cardiff? Come along to October’s First Thursday event tonight which (as luck would have it) coincides with the National Poetry Day celebrations. Poet Marianne Burton and novelist David Llewellyn will read from their new books, guest poets Chad Norman and Emily Blewitt will treat us to a couple of poems, and then everyone will be invited to share a poem or piece of prose in the open mic.
Another Seren poet will also be hosting a National Poetry Day celebration – join Carrie Etter in the Chichester library for an evening event with wine, live music and open mic poetry.
Wherever you find yourself today, and whatever you decide to do with your time, we hope you feel inspired and enriched by poetry, new and old. Happy National Poetry Day.