Poetry

Linton Kwesi Johnson: The poetry that changed me

The poet Linton Kwesi Johnson on Poems of Succession by Martin Carter
Dub poetry pioneer Linton Kwesi Johnson introduces us to Poems of Succession - the collection by Guyanese poet Martin Carter which fired his imagination and his passion for poetry as a young writer.

(Photo: Linton Kwesi Johnson. Credit: Speaking Volumes)
'I was the only person with brown skin in the countryside'
Louisa Adjoa Parker hopes to raise awareness about the racism people can face in rural areas.

Poetry For Sale?

Poet and copywriter Rishi Dastidar on the relationship between poetry and advertising.
Why are so many brands using poets and poems to sell their products now? Does it work? And is it new? Through poems, interviews and archive material, poet and copywriter Rishi Dastidar explores the long relationship between poetry and advertising – from the poets who have worked in advertising and those writing new poems for brands; to the companies which have used classic poems in their marketing; to the language itself and how poetic techniques work on us, and why advertisers might want to use them.
 
Rishi finds recordings of Clive James, WH Auden, Allen Ginsberg, Fay Weldon and George Orwell in programmes from the BBC Archives. And to bring things up to date, he speaks to: Portland-based Matthew Dickman, author of four collections of poetry and copywriter for some of the biggest ads of the last ten years, for brands such as Nike and Chrysler. To poet Jo Bell (Kith; How to be a Poet), who has written for Nationwide's advertising campaigns; and to Jim Thornton, Deputy Executive Creative Director of advertising agency VCCP, who commissions poets to write for Nationwide's ads. He also speaks to poets Will Harris (Rendang, Mixed-Race Superhero) and Clare Pollard (Incarnation; Editor of Modern Poetry in Translation) about why some poets don't feel comfortable writing for ads.

As copywriter, Rishi Dastidar has written for a wide number of brands including O2 and Barclays. His second poetry collection, Saffron Jack, was published in the UK in 2020 by Nine Arches Press. 

Image Credit: Jeremy Deller - More Poetry Is Needed, 2014
St Mary’s Car Park, Swansea - Commissioned by Locws International for Art Across The City, Swansea, 2014
Courtesy of The Artist and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow
Photo: Locws International

Produced by Mair Bosworth

Bristol City Poet invites 'Eddie' Colston to 'rust in shame'

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Vanessa Kisuule has performed a new work called 'Hollow' reflecting on the pulling down of Colston's statue by Black Lives Matter protesters on Sunday.

Sharing the piece on Twitter, she writes that she has "never been prouder to be Bristol City Poet and to offer a poem to my adopted city than I am today."

Among the 16,000 likes, the poem has been praised by author Philip Pullman.

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