Archive for the ‘Reviews and Events’ Category:

World Poetry Day 20 Yrs Old!

Written on March 14th, 2019 by adminno shouts

From our understanding World Poetry Day is going to be 20 yrs old this year!

Designated by UNESCO in 1999, the 21st of March is a day to share, create and remember those who have been before or are imprisoned for their art.

There are often local events going on so check out your area or celebrate yourself with a writing spree or some reading.

Here at WoPo we will be twitting away for the day with writing prompts as well as heading out for a writing session in our local environs culminating in a book launch – yes it’s all poetry!

So we are all very excited!

Poetry By Heart

Written on January 4th, 2015 by adminno shouts

If you are a school based in the UK you might like to get involved in Poetry By Heart, a recital competition, where students have to memorise and perform poems from their category.

There is a wide range and diversity of poems and the archive alone is worth a good look 🙂

Cheltenham Poetry Festival 2014

Written on March 20th, 2014 by adminno shouts

For those local to Gloucestershire in the UK, The Jordans Cheltenham Poetry Festival is once again gearing up. It runs from March 28th to April 6th, there are also a few warm up events so check their on line programme out.

We’ve been to this event every year since it started and absolutely love it, the team find they are all charged up and ready to write even more poetry by the end of the Festival.

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Social Media and Poetry

Written on April 6th, 2013 by adminno shouts

As part of National Poetry Writing Month the Tell Me More site is collection tweeted poems under the hash tag TMMPoetry. Go and check out the website and the hash tag – they have done similar initiatives in the past with wonderful creative effect!

The 140 characters of twitter means that poets have to streamline their thought process, it lends itself nicely to the shorter forms and can be some what more challenging than writing an essay in our experience!

Another thing that is good to try is the creation of an epic poem via tweets – entire novels have been writing in little 140 character snippets so why not an epic poem?

Epic poems in this instant being very long novel length poems rather than just brilliant glittering literary gems though of course they may be those as well!

If you do not have twitter then adapt the challenge to Facebook or Google Plus, start a page up specifically for the purpose.

Happy Poetry New Year 2013!

Written on January 7th, 2013 by adminno shouts

It’s 2013 and here we go with another year of fantastic poetic license and a site brimming with writing exercises and ideas to get the creativity glands going!

Our plans are to spruce up the website and make everything shipshape.

And don’t forget Kathryn Apel’s Month of Poetry this month.

Writing challenges such as the poem a month challenges, we so love, are very good ways to get you into a regular writing routine! Everyone on our team has a bucket load of writing New Years Resolutions and goals, as I’m sure all of you do as well, so good luck and get writing!


Written on March 28th, 2011 by adminno shouts

April sees a poem a day challenge inspired by the National Novel Writing Month – NaPoWriMo is National Poem Writing Month.

Why not have ago – there are plenty of inspirational guest bloggers to read on this and other sites and there are plenty of writing exercises to get the pen moving and the ideas flowing.

Those of you on twitter will find fellow PAD doers by using the #NaPoWriMo hash tag.

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Cheltenham Poetry Festival – Tickets

Written on January 10th, 2011 by admin2 shouts

Whether your taste is for punk poetry, page poetry or performance poetry – you will find plenty to feast on at Cheltenham Poetry Festival this March.

You can see the provisional programme (there will be some new events added over the next few weeks) at and tickets will be on sale at Cheltenham Town Hall on February 1st.

Our line up includes John Hegley, John Cooper Clarke, Rachel Pantechnicon, Michael Wilson, Alison Brackenbury, Angela France, NEW FABER poet Sam Riviere, plus a POLISH POETS showcase featuring Bohdan Piaskecki.

We also have TS ELIOT PRIZE WINNERS Philip Gross and George Szirtes, and some richly illustrated talks exploring the cross over between visual art and poetry which include Pascal Petite and The Gloucestershire Network of Writers.

If that’s not enough to inspire you we have MASTERCLASSES and workshops for the budding (and experienced) poets among you, a poetry themed MURDER MYSTERY event in the atmospheric chapel of Francis Close Hall for those of you who fancy a little sleuthing and the electrifying live literature show FLASH staring Sara-Jane Arbury and Lucy English,

The Fragmented Beefheart licks, Fall-inspired lyrical splurge, psychedelic drizzle, of punk poets THE COURTESY GROUP kick off our music programme which also includes a poetry inspired performance by Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra and an event dedicated to THE MUSIC OF JOHN CLARE featuring Composer and musician Gordon Tyrrall’s beautiful settings of John Clare poems as well as a few of the rare tunes collected by John Clare.

If that’s not enough we also have A Tribute to Poet Valerie Clarke with a guest slot from MIMI KHALVATI plus a reading from the highly acclaimed poet Cliff Yates with music support from local legend Men Diamler.

On the last night you can help us put the party around the arts at our final night knees which features the hilarious Crispin Thomas’s Out To Lunch and The Side Dishes and BROWN TORPEDO as well as a host of guest poets!

Tickets will be available from The Box Office at Cheltenham Town Hall on February 1 – please join us in our first year!

Silent Voice – Mental Health and Creativity

Written on February 24th, 2010 by adminno shouts

Silent Voice

There are many advantages to expressing yourself creatively. Have you ever wondered why for example poetry and art is so expressive, why it brings about such strong feelings in the person reading/seeing it? When you’re angry, upset, frustrated – or happy for that matter – do you ever grab a pen and just write it all down? A letter to a friend, a journal entry, a poem…

We were asked by WoPoWriMo to write something about the advantages of using poetry to express creatively some of the struggles faced by those suffering from mental health problems. Many of those reading this will already be poets – experienced or budding – so you will already be aware of the advantages writing creatively can bring to your own mental wellbeing, whether you suffer from mental ill health or not.

There are many studies highlighting the positive effects of writing or expressing oneself creatively to overcome difficult times – and indeed art therapy seems to be increasingly popular. That creative outlets are so encouraged in many branches of care speaks volumes to its effectiveness. An example of such a study is Mcardle, S. & R. Byrt (2001) “Fiction, poetry and mental health: expressive and therapeutic uses of literature” in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, Volume 8 Issue 6, Pages 517 – 524; however there is an abundance of literature out there supporting these advantages.

The National Self Harm Network’s ‘Silent Voice’ poetry book is an anthology of poems written by members of the charity’s support forum. It is a collection of works, written by those with personal experience of self harm, exploring a variety of topics and feelings. It is a collection, which encompasses both the positive and negative emotions which may be felt, exploring both the despair of darker days, as well as hope for the future. As stated in the foreword, it’s a book in which ‘the reader is invited to follow a journey from the darkest time through recovery from self harm – through times of sadness and happy moments, with humour and compassion.

“Self-harm happens when we can’t communicate our feelings, when words fail us, and pain is written out instead upon the body. But words don’t fail these young writers; they deal honestly with the pain, frustration and anger that lie behind such desperate acts. I hope the writing itself has helped them come to terms with their feelings; I’m sure it can go on to help others, whether self-harmers themselves, or the people who love them.” – Jo Baker, author of ‘Offcomer’,’ The Mermaid’s Child’ and ‘The Telling’, and lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University

The idea for the book was conceived from the support forum’s Creativity board, a place in which people are encouraged to find alternative outlets for emotions, through the use of poetry, words and art. Self harm is complex and an individual’s relationship with self harm will vary greatly. However the charity takes a pro-active stance in trying to help members find an alternative form of expression and outlet for emotions and believe that activities like poetry can be an effective aid in helping a person move towards recovery and help reduce the incidences of self harm.

We have seen from many of our online members how writing – in general, although poetry seems to be the most popular way of expressing oneself on our Creativity board – has helped them express some of the thoughts and feelings they never dared talk about elsewhere. It’s helped many come out of their shell and eventually express themselves (through poetry or otherwise) to family, friends or health professionals which has meant they have been able to get the help they need and deserve.

It is hoped that Silent Voice will highlight the link between creativity and mental health, in a positive way, highlighting a productive outlet for emotions as well as raising awareness and understanding around the subject of self harm.

You can purchase the book for £5.99 including free postage and packaging within the UK. Please contact us for details of postage and packaging outside of the UK.

Cheques and postal orders can be sent to PO Box 7264, Nottingham NG1 6WJ, made payable to National Self Harm Network. You can also pay via PayPal: if paying by PayPal please note that you are required to also send an email to to inform us that you have made a payment.

Write-Ins and Meet-Ups

Written on February 6th, 2010 by adminno shouts

We cannot sanction or really encourage meet-ups with people in your areas that you don’t already know, as we do not have ML’s and the like that NaNoWriMo have and so we can not add a structure and safety aspect to the meets.

That being said they are one of the most productive writing activities you can take part in and they can be a lot of fun and we are aware they are happening anyway, so here is a guide of how to do it safely.

Never give out your address if you are organising it – organise the meet-up to be in a very public place, preferably during the day. Go with a friend and if you are under 16 you should be taking a parent or guardian along too (at least to the first one). Make sure people know that you are going out and how long you should be gone for – maybe text in regually to let them know all is well.

Again do be careful if you organise it as a ‘public’ event as there are some strange people out there.