Derek Walcott.Poet of Oceanic Scales & Large Canvases.

Derek Walcott
 
 
Born on the island of Saint Lucia, a former British colony in the West Indies, poet and playwright Derek Walcott was trained as a painter but turned to writing as a young man. He published his first poem in the local newspaper at the age of 14. Five years later, he borrowed $200 to print his first collection, 25 Poems, which he distributed on street corners.
 
Walcott’s major breakthrough came with the collection In a Green Night: Poems 1948-1960 (1962), a book which celebrates the Caribbean and its history as well as investigates the scars of colonialism and post-colonialism.
 
His recent collections include Tiepolo’s Hound (2000), The Prodigal (2004), Selected Poems (edited by Edward Baugh, 2007) and White Egrets (2010). In 1992, Walcott won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel committee depicted his work as “a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”
 
In addition to his Nobel Prize, Walcott’s honors include a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, and, in 1988, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry. He is an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He is Professor of Poetry at Essex University.
 

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Billy Collins Poet – What Dogs Think!

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John Updike praised Collins for writing “lovely poems…Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides.” But Collins has offered a slightly different take on his appeal, admitting that his poetry is “suburban, it’s domestic, it’s middle class, and it’s sort of unashamedly that.”

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Irish Voices. Paul Muldoon. Poet. Saoirse (Freedom)

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Paul Muldoon is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary poets. He was born in Portadown, County Armagh and raised near The Moy, in Northern Ireland. Muldoon’s work is full of paradox: playful but serious, elusive but direct, innovative but traditional. He uses traditional verse forms such as the sonnet, ballad, and dramatic monologue, but alters their length and basic structure, and uses rhyme and meter in new ways. His work is also notable for its layered use of conceit, allusion, and wit. The cryptic wordplay present in many poems has often been called Joycean, but Muldoon himself has cited lyric poets such as Frost, Thomas, and MacNeice as his major influences.
 
Muldoon is the youngest member of a group of Northern Irish poets—including Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, and Derek Mahon—which gained prominence in the 1960s and 1970s. As a student at Queen’s University, Muldoon studied under Heaney, and refined his own analytical and critical skills in weekly discussions with other poets. In 1971, at the age of nineteen, Muldoon completed his first short collection, Knowing My Place. Two years later, he published New Weather (1973), his first widely reviewed volume of poetry. The book secured Muldoon’s place among Ireland’s finest writers and helped establish his reputation as an innovative new voice in English-language poetry.
 

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Roger McGough Liverpool’s Poet

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McGough was born in Litherland, Lancashire, to the north of Liverpool, the city with which he is firmly associated, and was educated at the University of Hull at a time when Philip Larkin was the librarian there. Returning to Merseyside in the early 1960s, he worked as a teacher and, with John Gorman, organised arts events. After meeting Mike McGear the trio formed The Scaffold, working the Edinburgh Festival until they signed to Parlophone records in 1966. The group scored several hit records, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart in 1968 with their version of “Lily The Pink”. McGough wrote the lyrics for many of the group’s songs and also recorded the musical comedy/poetry album McGough and McGear.
 
McGough was also responsible for much of the humorous dialogue in The Beatles’ animated film, Yellow Submarine, although he did not receive an on-screen credit. At about the same time a selection of his poems was published, along with work from Adrian Henri and Brian Patten, in a best-selling paperback volume of verse entitled The Mersey Sound, first published in 1967, revised in 1983 and again in 2007.
 
McGough won a Cholmondeley Award in 1998, and was awarded the CBE in June 2004. He holds an honorary MA from Nene College of Further Education;[citation needed] was awarded an honorary degree from Roehampton University in 2006; as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Liverpool on 3 July 2006. He was Fellow of Poetry at Loughborough University (1973-5) and Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University (1993).
 

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Sharon Olds “a poet of sex and the psyche,”

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Sharon Olds is one of contemporary poetry’s leading voices. Winner of several prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, Olds is known for writing intensely personal, emotionally scathing poetry which graphically depicts family life as well as global political events.
Sharon Olds ‘a poet of sex and the psyche’: Quote Billie Collins.

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Poets & Poems introduced by George Kalamaras

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George Kalamaras, Poet Laureate of Indiana, is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, a post he has held since 1990. Among his degrees, he holds a Doctorate in English from State University of New York at Albany and a Master’s in English from Colorado State University. He was born in Chicago and grew up in Cedar Lake, Indiana, in Lake County.

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John Cooper Clarke The Beasley Street Poet

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John Cooper Clarke (born 25 January 1949) is an English performance poet who first became famous during the punk rock era of the late 1970s when he became known as a “punk poet”.He released several albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and continues to perform regularly.
 
His recorded output has mainly centred on musical backing from the Invisible Girls, which featured Martin Hannett, Steve Hopkins, Pete Shelley, Bill Nelson, and Paul Burgess.
 
In July 2013, Clarke was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts in “acknowledgement of a career which has spanned five decades, bringing poetry to non-traditional audiences and influencing musicians and comedians” by the University of Salford. Upon receipt, Clarke commented: “Now I’m a doctor, finally my dream of opening a cosmetic surgery business can become a reality.”
 
Clarke’s poem “I Wanna Be Yours” was adapted by Arctic Monkeys and frontman Alex Turner for the band’s fifth album, AM, released on 9 September 2013. Speaking about the poem to the NME ’​s Matt Wilkinson, Clarke said:
 
I wrote it along with a load of others at the time, I tend to write like that. I remember when it was – about ’83 or ’84 or something like that. It’s come to my attention that it’s the wedding favourite. The number of people that have said, “I had that read at my wedding”, or “My husband proposed to me using that number”… It’s been very useful in the world of modern romance! It is to modern wedding ceremonies what “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” by Eric Idle is to humanist funerals. I probably go to a great many more funerals than you do, so take it from me.
 

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Harry Baker UK Grand Slam Performance Poet.

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Harry Baker is the current UK Poetry Slam Champion, heading to represent the UK in the Poetry World Cup in June. He is currently Studying at the University of Bristol. He was going to do medicine before all the poetry started kicking off and he thought he wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to his craft so thought he would switch to something ‘nicer’ like German and Maths.
 
This has led to Prime Number Poems and Bilingual Raps, and instead of a gap year of writing, traveling and performing his time is now taken up with trying to squeeze poetry in every area of his life (including doing his German Oral Presentation in rap form.)
 
As part of his adventures so far, he has gone from Gangsta Maths to Dinosaur love, with wicked wordplay and rhymes often interspersed with awful puns. A member of last years brilliant Roundhouse Poetry Collective run by Polarbear, he has also performed solo all around the UK and internationally as far as Chicago, New York, Munich, Warsaw and the summer festival Circuit including Bestival, Latitude and Secret Garden Party.
 
Harry is also currently working towards his second One-Man show at the Edinburgh Fringe (Proper Pop-up Purple Paper People), attempting to build on last years 5-Star Rated ‘Super-amazing Mega-awesome Gap Year Adventures: Birth of a champion’
 

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