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Today is National Poetry Day!

3 October 2019

This year National Poetry Day celebrates its 25th anniversary on 3rd October. The one-day festival, which is focusing on the theme of truth, sees lots of poetry related events across the UK including poetry readings in schools, libraries and public places, poetry cafes, competitions and opportunities to share your favourite poems. Visit the National Poetry Day website https://nationalpoetryday.co.uk for information on what’s going on in your local area.

You can listen to podcasts on this year’s national poetry day anthology ‘Tell me the truth about life’ curated by Cerys Matthews. These are interviews with five of the poets included in the collection: Michael Morpurgo, Henry Normal, Jade Anouka, Simon Armitage, Nikita Gill and Kate Clanchy. You can also read many of the poems from the anthology on the website, such as this one by Emily Dickinson:

Tell all the Truth but tell it Slant

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

In Shropshire a brand new bricks-and-mortar Poetry Pharmacy is set to open on the 4th October in a beautiful Victorian shop in Bishop’s Castle; the first of its kind in the world. Described as ‘an alternative therapy for your emotional ailments’ it aims to prescribe a poetic remedy for anyone suffering from a broken hearts or the stresses of the modern world or for those who simply need ‘a tonic for the spirit’. If you can’t make it in person to beautiful Shropshire then we suggest you listen to The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried-and-True Prescriptions for the Heart and Soul by William Sieghart (12720).

At Calibre our contribution is to share with you the more recent additions to our poetry collection. Highlights include last year’s National Poetry Day Anthology Poetry for a Change (12895), Assurances by J O Morgan (13249) (winner of the 2018 Costa Poetry Award), and I am the Seed that Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year (617552). We also added:

Francis: A Life in Song by Ann Wroe (13226)

St Francis of Assisi was one of the most compelling spirits the world has seen. He was also a poet, a musician and a dancer. His world was coloured by troubadour lays, brightened by birdsong, ordered by the bells and chants of the Church and transfigured by the angel-lyres he heard about him. Here Ann Wroe, turns to verse to tell of his life, as both myth and man, across history and culture, in nature and community.

Injury Time by Clive James (coming soon)

In this collection of his poems, Clive James finds he has more time on the clock than he had anticipated. All the more determined to use it wisely – to capture the treasurable moment, James weaves poems which reflect on the consolation and wisdom to be found in the art, music and books which have become ever more precious to him in his last years.

The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane (617571)

All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. These are the words of the natural world - Dandelion, Otter, Bramble and Acorn, all gone. Here is a joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

Old Toffer’s Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid (617507)

T S Eliot's collection of practical cat poems has been one of the most successful poetry collections in the world. Originally conceived by Eliot himself, these poems about dogs are as witty, varied and exquisitely compiled as Eliot's cats.

Quartet: The Four Seasons edited by Deborah Gaye (13207)

Providing a spectacular panoply of ever-changing colours, this collection of poems evokes the rich character and intense emotion of the changing seasons, featuring works from some of the UK's finest poets.

Reaching the Stars: Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls (617514)

This feisty collection of poems is a celebration of the achievements of women and girls throughout history. It includes poems about Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks, Margaret Hamilton, Ada Lovelace, Helen Keller, Mary Shelley, Edith Cavell and many more.