It's been very quiet here in Poetry NI HQ during the pandemic. We're a small, unfunded team, and we've been dealing with the delights of long-Covid, personal illness and family illness unfortunately, meaning we haven't been able to be very active on the poetry front at all recently.
However... we are delighted to announced that once again we are back at the Belfast Book Festival in June for our annual Poetry Slam! This year's festival is all online (for the obvious reasons), and we're asking you to join us via Zoom for an evening of digital dramatics, online odes and Internet imagery on Sunday 13th June at 8pm.
Full detail and tickets are available via the Festival Box Office. You can purchase either an Entrant ticket, or a Spectator ticket. Many thanks to the kind team at Crescent Art Centre for helping us be part of this year's line-up.
Running from the 10 - 13 June, this year's Festival, which takes place online, covers a wide variety of themes - including feminism, grief, family, disability, sexuality, body image and the care system. Take a peek at the programme here: belfastbookfestival.com/whats-on
We're putting together a collaborative poem about life under lockdown, and we need YOUR help!
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and social lockdown, life is changing. With developments and headlines moving rapidly, loved ones shut off from each other, people working from homes and public amenitiies closed, we are having to get used to a life indoors, and for some, a life rapidly more online. Life insists, and persists.
Poetry NI wants to capture people's responses to this crisis, and naturally, we feel the best way to do this is through poetry. We are asking people to send in a haiku, giving a snapshot of their life under lockdown.
Together, these haiku will form a sequence, a haikai, detailing people's lives, which will be published in an e-pamphlet, available for free download from our website. This will be a one off Panning for Poems special edition.
Just complete the online entry form to submit. All submissions must be in by Sunday, April 12th.
In wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and developing Government guidelines, we feel that regrettably it would be best to put Purely Poetry on hold for the moment, until this uncertain period of social distancing passes.
As much as we love poetry and bringing people together, we feel unfortunately it just would be unsafe and irresponsible for the open mic night to continue right now. Obviously, we take this decision with a heavy heart.
We fully support the Crescent Arts Centre and their own closure, and wish all staff there well. We will be back whenever it is safe to. In the meantime, stay safe and well, and thank you for your support.
Poetry NI presents an audio anthology of fifteen women poets, to celebrate International Women's Day 2020.
We invited a range of poets whose work we enjoy and admire to send in renditions of their own poems. The themes and issues are diverse and distinct, but all have one thing in common: simply great writing.
The album is free to stream and download via Bandcamp. Just enter your email address, and a download link will be send to you. The album will download as a zip file, and you can choose which format to download in: MP3, WAV, FLAC, etc.
Visit unwomen.org to find our more about International Women's Day and how you can get involved.
"Call us the Bastard Wing of Europe,
a Kneecapped Ulysses,
Little Island Floating in its own Ennui.
Call us Goat Sacrificed By Greed,
Undrinkable Water Found In A Stream
Running Past a Deconsecrated Church.
A See-Saw of Drunken Economists."
Pen Points Press has released a new broadside of five poems from Colin Dardis, launched on Friday 31st January to mark (commiserate) the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
Much in the style of our micropress broadside, Panning For Poems, Post Brexit Blues is designed to be printed out on a double-sided A4 page and folded.
The broadside is available to download for free.
After our January break, getting over the excesses of the festive season, Purely Poetry open mic is back in Crescent Arts Centre on Friday 7th February.
As always, we're eager to hear your poems, with readers of all experiences and backgrounds welcomes. Sign-up for readers is 8.10pm, with the event starting at 8.30pm.
Info on events, projects, submission calls, readings, publications and other news.