Extract from BWT podcast episode 6 (Sept 2010) – poetry recommendations

10 Apr

Staying with the poetry genre here are some websites and publications…

  • has an extensive list of poetry terms including ballad, burlesque, couplet, elegy, epigram, free verse, haiku, idyll, ode, quatrain, tanka, terza rima, sonnet and many more.
  • Wikipedia has a great page on rhyme scheme such as villanelles, Petrarchan, Shakespearean and Spenserian sonnets, sestinas and limericks. Again I’ll put the link ( on this episode’s page of my website.
  • has “over 50,000 posted poems for you to read”.
  • Poetry Kapow Milton Keynes hosts several open mic nights per year. More details from or e-mail They’re also on Facebook.
  • lets you type in a word to find its rhymes, synonyms, definitions, and more. Topics on the front page include Shakespeare, quotations, famous documents, quizzes, Mother Goose (fairy tales etc) and other features. You can also play ‘Twisteroo’ “a fun new word game”!
  • Muse-Pie Press was founded in the early 80s by poet R.G. Rader and “has developed a reputation for being open to all styles and genres of the poetic voice, including haiku, experimental work, spoken word poetry and confessionalist, narrative, academic, philosophical, formalist, or other contemporary styles and genres. If it is good poetry, with technical proficiency and emotional appeal, Muse-Pie takes it seriously.”
  • contains an interview with poet Alison Chisholm and lists the first two of six of her poems. Alison is a regular contributor to writing magazines and judge of Northampton Literature Group’s Poetry competition.
  • has four poems by Richard L Provencher and five poems by JB Mulligen can be read at Richard is also affiliated with the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia
  • ’52 ways of looking at a poem’ is a book by Ruth Padel. In an interview for Waterstone’s ‘Books Quarterly’ magazine she controversially said that modern verse can be difficult and ugly, so no wonder Kipling remains, apart from Shakespeare, the most quoted of English poets. Modernism asks us ‘to give up a vast, sun-splashed hinterland where troubadours sang’. She later explains that poetry is a universal need that ‘we all have a poetry-shaped hole in us’. Although that hole may be filled by rap, chanting or hymns, when it comes to weddings and funerals, why is that we so often include poetry? In New York, a public poetry reading after 9/11 drew a huge crowd. When feelings run deep, poetry and its strangeness can cast light on the inexpressible.
  • In late 2005, Arrow published a book by Stephen Fry called ‘The ode less travelled’. Stephen “turns his attention to the joys of poetry. Pouring scorn on the ‘worthless dribble’ of verse without proper structure, he leads us through the wonders of poetic form, from haiku to sonnet, and educates us entertainingly in the joys of reading and writing an elegant stanza.” See the Guardian’s book review at the following link: Their poetry books general page is packed with information and can be found at

The hints & tips episodes usually end with a piece of poetry or flash fiction and ‘on this day in history’, events, competitions etc. which are relevant to the time of issue so have not been replicated here.

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