British poetry and politics


This video is about Kayo Chingonyi, born in Zambia; reading his poems in Manchester, England on 1 November 2013.

By Jody Porter in Britain:

Campaign in Poetry: The Emma Press announces the poets taking part

Tuesday 24th March 2015

The Emma Press has announced the poets who will feature in their forthcoming anthology of urgent new political poems, Campaign in Poetry, publishing on 2nd April 2015.

The line-up includes several rising stars of the UK poetry scene: Luke Kennard, who was recently named as a Poetry Book Society Next Generation Poet; Clare Pollard, whose translation of Ovid‘s Heroides was published by Bloodaxe in 2013 and is currently touring the UK; and Kayo Chingonyi, who won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2013.

Publisher Emma Wright said: “I think there are a few key assumptions which keep people from voting: that politicians don’t understand the concerns of the average voter, that all the political parties have become the same, and that voting makes no difference. These beliefs have some grounding in fact, but taken together they form a manifesto for apathy which is frankly terrifying.”

“I believe in democracy and I believe in the ability of poets to find the blazing emotional core within complex, equivocal subjects, so this anthology is a reaction against apathy. This isn’t a collection of poems to tell you what to think or how to vote; this is a collection to fire people up and encourage them to engage with politics.”

Campaign in Poetry is edited by Rachel Piercey (Newdigate Prize, 2008) and Emma Wright, who collected the poems through a mixture of commissions and an open call for submissions in August-September 2014. The anthology is a collection of poems about voter apathy, social inequality and disillusionment with politicians, inspired by current affairs and written in anticipation of the UK General Election.

Also featuring are Stephanie Arsoska, Elizabeth Barrett, Ellie Danak, Dai George, Jan Heritage, Holly Hopkins, Anna Kisby, Rachel Long, Rosie Miles, Mona Arshi, Richard O’Brien, Ewan Stevenson, Jon Stone, James Trevelyan and Kate Wise.

The Emma Press is holding a book launch for Campaign in Poetry during London Book and Screen Week, at the Betsey Trotwood in Farringdon on Wednesday 15th place at Word Power Books in Edinburgh on Thursday 30th parties can be found on the publisher’s website: http://theemmapress.com/events/

Further details about the book (RRP £7.50) and poets involved can also be found on the publisher’s website: http://theemmapress.com/books/campaign-in-poetry/

About the Emma Press: The Emma Press is an independent publisher dedicated to producing beautiful, thought-provoking books. It was founded in 2012 in Winnersh, UK, by Emma Wright, formerly of Orion Publishing Group. In 2014, the Emma Press was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award for poetry pamphlet publishers. In 2015, Oils (The Emma Press, 2014), by Stephen Sexton, was selected as the PBS Winter Pamphlet Choice.

Britain: RADICAL science fiction and fantasy flourished in the 1980s, a decade of economic insecurity, aggressive foreign policies and cant about “the enemy within.” It was a period when Michael Moorcock’s Mother London drew on mythic and supernatural elements to reimagine the capital’s working-class history and reassert the values of collectivism and mutual aid, while Iain Banks’s The Bridge was a multifaceted, prophetic broadside against the self-serving philosophies of Thatcherism and Reaganomics.

4 thoughts on “British poetry and politics

  1. Pingback: British poetess Judi Sutherland about blogging | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: British poetess Clare Pollard on literature and politics | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: African-American poetess Aja Monet on police bruatality | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: British poetry against government policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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