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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
Celebrations mark poetry day
Andrew Motion
Andrew Motion will read poetry in Covent Garden
Poetry lovers are throwing parties across the UK to mark the annual National Poetry Day - with this year's theme being celebration.

Schools and community groups nationwide are hosting the parties to fit in with the theme.

Winners of national poetry competitions are being announced and books being published to coincide with the annual event.

BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a series of specially-commissioned poems about celebration on Thursday, starting with one by Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay.

Diverse events

In Covent Garden, central London, poet laureate Andrew Motion will be reading poetry at St Paul's Church, on Thursday night.

The winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award will be announced at a special awards ceremony at the Festival Hall.

Edinburgh will see "slam" performance poetry take place in front of an audience of poetry in front of an audience of 150 10-12 year olds.

Bristol will host its own poetry festival, with an evening of performance poetry by poets Ralph Hoyte, Linton Kwesi Johnson and John Cooper Clarke.

And Birmingham's biggest poem will be unveiled as part of a celebration of poetry in public spaces across the city.

The poem It Comes to This by David Fine measuring 120 metres in length will be suspended from the Central Library.

Books published

A book called the Nation's Favourite Poems of Celebration with a foreword by poet Roger McGough as well as an anthology of poems - Forward Book of Poetry 2003 - is being published.

National Poetry Day's organisers are also publicising research which suggests poetry can help stave off depression.
National Poetry Day logo
Events are taking place nationwide

It is by consultant Dr Robin Philipp, a consultant in occupational and public health at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

He has been inundated with people telling him how poetry had helped them after he and his colleagues sent a letter to the British Medical Journal asking whether poetry could benefit health.

"Three quarters of people said writing poetry helped by encouraging them to bring disorganised thoughts, feelings and emotions," he said.

He said poetry worked as an "emotional catharsis" allowing people to get their thoughts onto paper.

His report was based on the letters of nearly 200 people.

He said 7% of respondents said that they had weaned themselves off anti-depressants or tranquillisers using poetry and with the help of their GP.

Dr Philipp is a member of the Association for the Literary Arts in Personal Development, an organisation supported by the Arts Council of England.


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Poetry day
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See also:

10 Oct 02 | Entertainment
10 Oct 02 | England
10 Oct 02 | Scotland
04 Oct 01 | Entertainment
04 Oct 01 | UK
03 Oct 01 | Entertainment
04 Oct 01 | Talking Point
04 Oct 01 | Entertainment
24 Sep 01 | Entertainment
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