The Verb

The Verb

Radio 3's cabaret of the word, featuring the best poetry, new writing and performance

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Roy Fisher

Roy Fisher

The Verb was saddened to hear of the death of the poet Roy Fisher. You can hear Ian's interview with Roy from 2010 here

Ian McMillan pays tribute.

'When I was a young man growing up in South Yorkshire, Roy Fisher spoke to me deeply; I first came across his work in the late 1970's in his Carcanet book The Thing About Joe Sullivan; here was work that was deeply rooted in contemporary American poetry, in the freedom and traditions of jazz, in an appreciation of visual art, and above all in a sense that the voice you spoke in was the voice you could write in. As he memorably wrote/said, 'Birmingham's what I think with...' 


The first time I met him I did a gig with him in a pub in Toddington called the Sow and Pigs and he was a still,calm presence as around him a kind of chaos swirled, with a drunk man selling vegetables and the novelist Jack Trevor Story running into the room in a cape and flying helmet shouting 'People, I am the president!' This exemplified Fisher's poetry to me: the stillness, the deflecting of noise, the idea that a space could be many things that could include us all.


I was proud to be able to choose his Selected Poems, The Long and the Short of It, published by Bloodaxe, as my book on Desert Island Discs, and I know that I'l be returning to that book over and over again in the next few weeks and months, now that one of the most important inhabitants of the island has gone.'

Free Thinking Festival

Free Thinking Festival
There's still a few tickets available for our events at this year's Free Thinking festival at Sage Gateshead. This year's theme is 'The Speed of Life'. 
Can't see the wood for the trees? Slow down with us as we journey through the forest on Saturday 18th March with Richard Hawley, Emmy the Great and William Fiennes.
On Sunday 19th March we examine ideas of Englishness with Jacob Polley, Beccy Owen and Rahul Kohli.
Tickets are available here

Proms Poetry Competition

Proms Poetry Competition

The winners of the 2016 Proms Poetry Competition have been announced!  

Jackie Kay, the Scots Makar, and Judith Palmer, director of The Poetry Society, joined Ian McMillan on the judging panel and on stage as the results were announced at the Imperial College Union on 8 September.

The winner of the 12-18 category was Lucy Thynne for her poem Juliet On Water – Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.

The winner of the 19+ category was Anna Kisby for her poem Fireflies Unlimited – inspired by Steve Reich’s Vermont Counterpoint.

Congratulations also to runners-up Katherine Spencer-Davis, Jason Khan, Graham Burchell and John Scrivens.

Listen in to the Proms Poetry Competition special to hear all of the winning poems read by actress Stella Gonet. 

Discover Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas season

Explore the life, work and legacy of the Welsh poet on the centenary of his birth.

BBC Arts

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Explore the BBC Arts website and discover the best of British art and culture.

The Dylan Thomas Collection

Dylan Thomas

Listen to programmes, poetry readings and commentary from Radio 3's Dylan Thomas Day.

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