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The Poetry Society


The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote "a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry". Since then, it has grown into one of Britain's most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 4000 members worldwideRead more

Popular episodes

National Poetry Competition 2021 judges podcast: Fiona Benson, David Constantine and Rachel Long

Sep 14 • 40:40
Ben Rogers of The Poetry Society speaks to this year's National Poetry Competition judges Fiona Benson, David Constantine and Rachel Long in a wide-ranging conversation that contemplates the perpetual dynamism of reading, where to find inspiration, poems as little creatures, the nature of poetic truth, and how and when to end a poem. The National Poetry Competition is open...

Mary Ruefle talks to Emily Berry

Sep 8 • 34:36
In their funny and thought-provoking conversation by telephone, celebrated American poet Mary Ruefle and Review editor Emily Berry discuss starting poems and first lines; working to commission and no longer facing the blank page; writing letters, writing prose, humour and sadness and not being afraid of the latter; pins, paper clips, swimming and getting comfortable with w...

Gail McConnell talks to Emily Berry

Jul 21 • 34:21
In the latest Poetry Review podcast, Gail McConnell talks to Emily Berry about loss, parenthood and the resource of language in her debut collection The Sun is Open. Published this September, the book works with archival material related to the life and death of McConnell's father, who was murdered by the IRA outside their home in Belfast in 1984. “Language does the work i...

Foyle Young Poets 2020 Top 15 Winners Podcast

Jul 2 • 35:21
This is a podcast created by The Poetry Society. This podcast features the Top 15 winning poems read by the winners of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2020. The top 15 winners represent some of the very best young poets in the world.

This podcast includes strong language and themes including racism.

For more information about the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award...

Selima Hill talks to Emily Berry

Apr 9 • 46:16
In a searching, wide-ranging and often very funny exchange, Selima Hill talks to Review editor Emily Berry about being both a prolific writer and a private person, about secrecy and rebellion, embodiedness and encodedness. Her writing process is, she says, less about cutting (“which sounds so violent”) and rather like “lifting your hair – loosen, loosen, then tighten, tigh...

Eithr Ffrwyth yr Ysbryd yw, Cariad (Galatiaid 5:22)

Mar 26 • 01:40

Luke Kennard talks to Emily Berry

Mar 2 • 40:04
Join Review editor Emily Berry and poet and novelist Luke Kennard, for an exhilarating unravelling of the prophetic voice and its uses for poetry, the liberating restriction of the poem sequence, and prose poetry as “a space in which to be convolutedly honest” – with passing references to Baudelaire, Chekhov, Ted Hughes, James Tait, Anne Carson and Maggie Nelson, contempor...

Rachel Long talks to Emily Berry

Feb 12 • 40:50
Rachel Long, whose brilliant debut My Darling from the Lions (Picador) has been shortlisted for the Forward, Costa and Rathbones Folio prizes, talks to Review editor Emily Berry about dreams and the usefulness of the non-material world to poetry. They also discuss influences on Rachel’s writing including Selima Hill, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze and the Bible, humour, ‘little-black...

The Christmas Pine by Julia Donaldson

Dec 18 • 03:17
'The Christmas Pine' by Julia Donaldson, commissioned by The Poetry Society for the 2020 Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, is performed by Reinfrancis Bondoc, Fabio Cucinotta and Poppy-Beau Pawsey, three children from St Mary of the Angels Primary School. This is part of our annual Look North More Often programme. Find out more at and happy holidays from everyon...

Sandeep Parmar talks to Mary Jean Chan

Aug 28 • 33:13
Review contributor Sandeep Parmar talks to Mary Jean Chan, guest co-editor with Will Harris of the spring 2020 issue of The Poetry Review. Sandeep reads her poem, ‘The Nineties’, and reflects on its origins – growing up in California at the time of the L.A. riots, which followed the arrest and beating of Rodney King, the trial of O.J. Simpson and the 1994 Northridge earthq...

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