Tag Archives: news

Carol Ann Duffy is named as Poet Laureate

The award-winning poet Carol Ann Duffy has just been named as the United Kingdom’s twentieth Poet Laureate, succeeding Andrew Motion after his ten years in the post.

Carol Ann Duffy gives her first interview as Poet Laureate.
Read more on the BBC News website and in The Guardian.
Carol Rumens’ Guardian blog post: 
Carol Ann Duffy’s talent is more important than her gender.

Poet Craig Arnold is missing in Japan

“Poet Craig Arnold has gone missing on a small volcanic island in Japan while on a creative exchange fellowship.  Craig, an experienced explorer of volcanoes, never returned to his inn after leaving alone to research the island’s active volcano for the afternoon.  The authorities are on the third day of searching for Craig, and are scouring the small island (of only 160 inhabitants) with dogs and helicopters.  If he is not found by the end of the day, the authorities will call off the search.
We need your help to insure that the search will continue.  The island and areas surrounding the volcano are small enough that an extended search will surely lead to Craig’s discovery.  We need people to contact their local congresspeople and senators to pressure the Japanese State Department to continue the search.  We also need help sparking media attention for this story, which we also hope might increase pressure on Japanese authorities to find Craig.
If any of you have ideas or know people who might be able to help, we’d appreciate hearing from you.  Please, though, take a minute to contact your senator and congressperson via telephone or even email to explain this problem and insist on their help.”
To find out how you can help, read Don Share’s full post on the Poetry Foundation’s blog.
News release from the University of Wyoming.

Nicholas Hughes’ death

“The son of the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has taken his own life, 46 years after his mother gassed herself while he slept.
Nicholas Hughes hanged himself at his home in Alaska after battling against depression for some time, his sister Frieda said yesterday.”
Read Ben Hoyle’s article in The Times.
Dermot Cole’s thoughtful post about Nicholas Hughes is worth reading.
Read Edward Byrne’s post at One Poet’s Notes.

Good News

I am excited to be the first poet invited on board at Pindrop Press, a new independent poetry publisher with one foot in the United Kingdom and the other in the United States.

Established by the editors of ouroboros review, Jo Hemmant and Christine Swint, Pindrop Press will publish pamphlets (chapbooks) and full-length collections by new, emerging and established poets.

The publication of my third collection – and my first volume overseas – is planned for 2010, with a London launch.

A New Year and a life less ordinary

“Now let us welcome the New Year,
Full of things that have never been.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy New Year from South Africa.

May your year ahead be filled with creativity, love and extraordinary adventures.

Adrian Mitchell (1932-2008)

Sadly, I’ve just heard English poet, playwright and children’s writer, Adrian Mitchell, has passed away.

“I want to speak, to sing to total strangers.  It’s my way of talking to the world or a small part of it.  So I use the language I use to my friends.  They wouldn’t believe me if I used some high flown literary language.  I want them to believe me.”

– Adrian Mitchell (in an interview with Nick Watson originally published in The Argotist magazine in February 1996.)

News about Adrian Mitchell on Bloodaxe’s website here.

Watch Adrian Mitchell reading “Telephone”, “Especially When It Snows” and “Death is Smaller Than I Thought” here.


Ted Hughes on Adrian Mitchell:

“Adrian Mitchell is no more naive than Stevie Smith, but like her he has the innocence of his own experience … real inner freedom and the courage of his own music.  Among all the voices of the Court, a voice as welcome as Lear’s fool … Humour that can stick deep and stay funny.”

John Berger on Adrian Mitchell:

“Nobody else writes like him.  And it is becoming more and more evident that his achievement endures … Nobody has ever departed with such language for such a destination … Mitchell is a joker, a lyrics writer, a word-spinner, an epigrammist, a man of passion and imagination … Against the present British state he opposes a kind of revolutionary populism, bawdiness, wit and the tenderness sometimes to be found between animals.”

Angela Carter on Adrian Mitchell:

“Joyous, acrid and demotic tumbling lyricist Pied Piper determinedly singing us away from catastrophe.”


Read more about Adrian Mitchell here.

Listen to Adrian Mitchell’s audio recordings at The Poetry Archive.

An interview with Adrian Mitchell at The Poetry Archive.

Adrian Mitchell reads his famous poem protesting the Vietnam war,”To Whom It May Concern”, here.