Sunday, April 20, 2008

SOUNDBLAST: news flash!

SOUNDBLAST: Pioneering partnership unites the UK poetry scene as well-respected poetry book club society adds performance poetry cds to its online collection
Goes live: 6 May

The UK poetry scene has, for years, been characterised by a divide between the more traditional world of ‘page poetry’ and the performance poetry scene. A pioneering partnership, between a major poetry society and the UK’s leading performance poetry organisation, will help to bridge the divide.

This dynamic collaboration has been lead by The Poetry Bookshop Society (PBS), the biggest dedicated poetry bookseller in the UK and Apples & Snakes, the UK’s leading organisation for performance poetry. The cds have been sourced by Apples & Snakes and will be sold on a new page of The Poetry Bookshop Online from 6 May 2008.

The PBS want to extend their audiences for the online bookshop by reaching beyond traditional poetry readers to audiences who are used to hearing poetry performed live.

The new website will provide users with the chance to buy the work of over forty established and emerging artists: including Benjamin Zephaniah, Lemn Sissay, Billy Childish, Beyonder and Agnes Meadows. The site will offer sample audio extracts from the cds, together with photographs and biographies of the poets and cd reviews. Poet recordings have also been provided by 57 Productions.

A successful preview night was held at Whitechapel Gallery on 20 March with performances from six of the featured poets. One of the audience members said, It was mind blowing! The artists were all so talented in their own individual way, I have never heard spoken word poetry before but I think I'm hooked and I even want to start writing some myself!

For further information please contact:

Poetry Book Society
Pinda Bryars or Chris Holifield
Tel 020 7833 9247 or 07872 075056
Email or

Apples & Snakes
Charlotte Dove or George Palmer
Tel 0845 521 3460
Email or

Editor’s Notes
Founded by T S Eliot in 1953, the Poetry Book Society is an organisation devoted to developing and maintaining a readership for poetry in the U.K. The PBS offers the best new contemporary poetry to its members. Apples & Snakes was established as a platform for popular, high quality and cross-cultural poetry. Since 1982, they have reached over four million audience members in theatres, galleries, schools and prisons. They aim to stretch the boundaries of poetry in performance and education

Featured poets include:

Benjamin Zephaniah is a published poet, novelist and playwright. He has been writer in residence at the Africa Arts Collective in Liverpool and creative artist-in-residence at Cambridge University.

Lemn Sissay is Southbank Centre artist-in-residence. Using the lyrical and the polemical, up-beat humour and deadly seriousness, Lemn’s performances are notorious for their powerful energy & dynamism.

Ventriloquist (Chris Redmond) As a trained musician, and with a love of live performance, Chris is part of a growing scene of performance poets who are as comfortable at music nights as they are poetry readings.

Mark Gywnne Jones and the Psychicbread Their debut album - In the light of this (Route 2007) – is a rich offering of voice, rhythm, roots music, vivid poetry and a surreal sense of humor. Based in Derbyshire the band is fronted by poet, musician and performer Mark Gwynne Jones.

Lucy Lepchani is primarily a performance poet and performs at open-mike, cabaret, festivals, readings, and other events. Her work comprises both traditional and contemporary forms, and embraces a wide range of subject matter.

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