Many people look at Shakespeare and expect sonnets to be about love. I look at Milton and Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats, and know that they can be about almost anything. So here’s some current politics, with a dash of topical history.
Watching the brilliant film Timbuktu recently, I was reminded of the Isis threat in Mali – and specifically the way they targetted musicians. This was written in 2013, for a concert in aid of the Conakry Refugee School.
The Wenlock Poetry Festival Board of Trustees is delighted to take National Poetry Day to announce that Jasmine Denholm will take up the post of Assistant Trainee Producer with responsibility for Children and Young People as well as Social Media from January 2016.
Jasmine is currently completing her apprenticeship at independent bookshop Wenlock Books, and on Saturday 10 October is presenting a day-long celebratory party of all things book-related as part of the national Books Are My Bag campaign which aims to promotes high street bookselling. Invited guests include authors, poets and publishers and the bookshop is using the day to showcase the many different reading groups they run. As well as working at Wenlock Books, Jasmine is a keen blogger at www.jassyfizzle.wordpress.com.
Jasmine will bring her skills to bear on making sure the Children and Young People’s strand of the Wenlock Poetry Festival 2016 will be exciting, friendly, challenging and, above all, fun. Jasmine says: ‘I’m really proud to have been asked to take on this role and I can’t wait to work with local schools to make this year’s festival as inclusive for children, teenagers and families as possible. It’s going to be lots of fun!”
Anna Dreda, Festival founder and owner of Wenlock Books says, “I am so pleased that Jasmine has agreed to take up this position. WPF2016 is keen to nurture and develop Jasmine’s talent while making sure that the children and young people who attend the festival get a fabulous experience of poetry that will inspire them to read, write and enjoy poetry throughout their lives.”
Wenlock Poetry Festival 2016 will take place from 22 – 24 April.
This is the poem that won a prize at the 2015 Guernsey Poems on the Move competition – the third time this has happened. I wrote it on my second visit to Guernsey, when I was collecting the second prize. For me, it is that kind of place – full of sights, ideas and little stories, as well as a pleasure to be in. It helps that the sun shines all the time.
I’ll be sharing a sonnet a week, but though I’m prolific I won’t guarantee that they’ll all be hot off the press. This one was too good to miss. Corbyn’s victory has stunned the media, who have predictably resorted to cynicism as a default response. I don’t know where this will end either, but it is different and it’s definitely worth a look.
We’re thrilled to announce that Paul Francis has been appointed as Poet in Residence for the Wenlock Poetry Festival 2016. A national prize-winning poet and the current Wenlock Poetry Festival Slam champion, Paul lives in Much Wenlock and has been an active and hard-working supporter of the festival since its inception. You can read more about him and his work on our Poet in Residence page.
Furthermore, Paul is a big fan of the sonnet and, over the years, has written more than three hundred of them. As the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death coincides with the first day of WPF 2016, we have chosen the sonnet as one of the threads that will be woven throughout this year’s programme. To whet our appetites, Paul will be providing a sonnet each week in the run up to the festival. Enjoy!