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Latest news from the Roehampton Poetry Centre

The start of term has seen a number of exciting projects for the Roehampton Poetry Centre, including reading series and the launch of an open poetry competition.

Posted: 10 October 2014

image for news story Latest news from the Roehampton Poetry Centre
Laura Peters, Head of English and Creative Writing, Professors David Harsent and Fiona Sampson, and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul O’Prey, at the launch of the University's Poetry Centre

The first Roehampton Poetry Centre reading series commences on Wednesday 5 November 2014 with readings from Karen McCarthy Woolf and Michael Symmons Roberts. The event will be held at 6.30pm in The Senate Room of Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU.  

In 2005, Karen McCarthy Woolf’s play Dido was broadcast on BBC R4. Her chapbook The Worshipful Company of Pomegranate Slicers (2006) was a New Statesman Book of the Year. A runner up in the Cardiff International Poetry Prize, she appeared in Ten New Poets (Bloodaxe, eds. Bernardine Evaristo and Daljit Nagra). She is the editor of Bittersweet: Black Women's Contemporary Poetry (Women's Press) and Kin (Serpent's Tail). An associate editor at Wasafiri, she reviews for Modern Poetry in Translation and is an AHRC funded doctoral candidate at Royal Holloway. An Aviary of Small Birds has just appeared from Carcanet.

Michael Symmons Roberts has won the Forward Prize, the Costa Poetry Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors.

His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, works for the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera; to the RPS Award for opera, and to an Olivier Award nomination. His broadcast work includes ‘A Fearful Symmetry’ (BBC R4) which won the Sandford St Martin Prize. He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The second event in the reading series, with Don Paterson and Pascale Petit, will take place on Wednesday 10 December, 2014.

All tickets are £5 each and available from the online store. It is advised tickets are booked in advance to avoid disappointment. Cash purchases can be made at the door.

The Roehampton Poetry Centre is at the forefront of the UK poetry scene and recently launched the Ruskin Prize, an open poetry competition awarded to the best single poem. Three prizes worth a total of £600 are on offer, and the first, second and third placed pieces will appear in Poem magazine, edited by eminent poet and critic Professor Fiona Sampson from the University. David Harsent, Professor of Creative Writing at Roehampton, will judge the submissions.

The works, which must be new, unpublished and not submitted for any other competitions, can be on any subject but must be no longer than 40 lines. Submissions can be made online at Roehampton’s estores webpage. Writers can submit more than one entry. Initial entries cost £5, with subsequent poems at £3 each. A shortlist will be announced in mid-November and winners will be announced at an event hosted by the University of Roehampton at a London venue in December.

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